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NBCUniversal, Apple TV+, CBS and other Networks suspend production of major TV series due to COVID-19 concerns

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It's being reported that The fate of scripted television production is very much in flux as the world grapples with the coronavirus. As of late Thursday evening, NBCUniversal has either suspended production or accelerated the season wrap schedules on 35 shows (scripted, unscripted and syndicated) as a precaution.


CBS meanwhile, is taking a similar strategy and has done the same with a fair amount of its series. Other networks and studios are taking things on a case-by-case scenario. While every network, streamer and studio scrambled to make decisions about staffers working from home and what to do with series production, everyone had one thing in common: a sense of uncertainty given the unprecedented nature of the global pandemic.


Earlier Thursday, Apple's The Morning Show halted production on season two for a two-week hiatus as a precaution. Production on Apple's Ireland-shot drama Foundation has also been temporarily suspended.


The Deadline publication adds: Add Apple TV+ and Skydance Television’s high-profile Foundation drama series to the growing list of TV series that have shut down production in face of a global coronavirus pandemic. The adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi novel trilogy, starring Jared Harris and Lee Pace, had been filming in Ireland as the country’s largest-scale production ever.


The shutdown decision follows the announcement by Irish Prime Minister An Taoiseach of COVID-19 restrictive measures, which include the canceling of any indoor mass gatherings of 100 people or more and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people."


Meanwhile, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that CBS' Big Bang Theory prequel Young Sheldon, fellow Chuck Lorre comedy Mom and the network's legal drama All Rise — all produced by Warner Bros. TV — have each canceled wrap parties that were set for next week. That news comes a day after The CW's Riverdale shut down after a team member on the WBTV drama's Vancouver set came in contact with a person who tested positive for the virus.


Further complicating matters is the possibility of a Writers Guild of America strike that could shut down all production should an agreement with the studios over streaming residuals (among other issues) not be resolved when the current deal expires May 1. That puts an added strain on decisions about whether or not production should be shut down now. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, a number of shows had been quietly stockpiling scripts at the studios' request. For more on this, read the full story over at Hollywood Reporter.


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