TV Studios Mull Delay In Post-Holiday Return To Production Amid Omicron Surge

For many TV series, holiday production hiatus begins in mid-December with the debut of the latest covid fueled by boom, highly contagious omicron Type. handful series, including CBS’ Evil spirit, stopped filming a few days ago as a result of positive tests in central area A, which includes the cast and those in direct contact with them.

Now, as production of several series is expected to return this week, the studio is facing an unprecedented wave of infections spreading widely across the country, with New York and Los Angeles, the main ones in the US. Production Center, Worst Hit, setting new all-time record every day.

According to sources, a possible delay in returning to the sets is being discussed by the major studios. I’ve heard that production has resumed on several of the series originally scheduled for this week, which has been extended to next week. In some cases, this is done on a show-by-show basis, with many major studios keeping most – if not all – of their shows on schedule.

With the extra safety precautions and stringent testing protocols being hailed as a breakthrough in various areas on the sets, COVID cases involving fully vaccinated people have skyrocketed.

The current number of infections in the US underestimates the number of positive cases during the winter in the same period last year, which pushed a return to production across the board. And while the disease linked to Omicron is thought to be milder than the deadly Delta variant, the peak level of its spread is straining the health system.

But unlike last January when the general population didn’t yet have access to vaccines, now vaccines — including boosters — are readily available, potentially prompting studios to try to move forward with production as planned. Factoring in logic.

The standard holiday interval is two weeks according to unions’ collective bargaining agreements. This was extended to three weeks last year for COVID, and studios have the option of dealing with an additional week, maintaining the crew through an unpaid leave.

With the current Omicron boom estimated to peak from mid to late January, a delay of up to a week will not be enough to avoid it entirely, so while planning additional safety measures, studios may also be preparing for the inevitable production shutdown. are. by positive covid tests in the coming weeks. With tight delivery schedules, especially on broadcast series that are close to air, they don’t have much room to maneuver.