Bringing TV shows back to the air after an almost six-month production hiatus is proving to be a difficult mission.
A month after U.S. series kicked off production in Vancouver with COVID-19 protocols in place amid the pandemic, comes some bad news.
Deadline is reporting that TV production is now largely on pause with shows such as Riverdale, A Million Little Things, Charmed, Batwoman, and Nancy Drew either not filming or in the process of shutting down.
COVID-19 testing, which is mandatory to keep production rolling, is taking longer than planned.
Even TV shows such as The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, which were eyeing production restarts, have been affected.
Those three shows have now been delayed until adequate testing is available, but with cases rising in British Colombia, it could be the case that these shows could be in trouble in the long term.
Pausing production costs money, and given the continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, it could lead to more surprising cancellations.
TV shows such as Stumptown and The Society have already been canceled due to the pandemic, and they won't be the only shows to suffer a similar fate.
Many TV shows have very strict budgets so that they can turn in a profit for the studios that make them, and they become less likely to succeed if they are not making a lot of money.
The big issue here is that, at least for ABC, premiere dates have been announced for both The Good Doctor and A Million Little Things, but with the latest wave of shutdowns, there's no telling whether they will be able to make their premiere dates.
The Good Doctor is set to return in a little more than a month, with A Million Little Things returning a few weeks later.
If the networks are putting promotional muscle into these premiere dates, then it could prove to be catastrophic if they are delayed for longer.
There are even issues in the U.S. NBC's Chicago Med, which is set to premiere November 11, has been shut down for two weeks following a positive test from a crew member.
While it is expected to make its November 11 premiere date if production resumes on time, these production restart dates are fluid, and anything can happen.
Logistically speaking, the Chicago universe is all nestled together, with organic plots that flow between the three shows. If one of them is not ready, then it could present some big obstacles for the other two shows.
It would have been better for the networks to hold off on premiere dates until a wealth of episodes are banked.
Alas, time will tell whether any of the above shows will be able to return in the coming months.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.