Netflix Chief Says Coronavirus Shutdown Won't Delay Upcoming Releases

With the novel coronavirus pandemic causing shutdowns across the globe, nearly all film and TV show productions have been put on hold for the time being, resulting in delayed release dates in both mediums. There are movies like Black Widow being pushed from their release dates because movie theaters aren't going to be open for them to play in. Others, like Minions: The Rise of Gru, were delayed because they weren't able to be finished before the shutdowns went into effect. Plenty of TV projects are getting temporarily shelved as well, because production on some episodes wasn't able to be completed. However, most of the upcoming projects on Netflix won't be affected by any of these delays, because the streaming service already has so much content in the can, ready to go.

Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix, recently appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources to talk about how COVID-19 has affected the company over the past couple of weeks, and how the streaming service will continue to respond. Sarandos explained that, while all of Netflix's productions have been shut down, the output of content won't change at all over the news few months, as much of what's coming soon has already been finished.

"We work petty far ahead," Sarandos said. "You know, we deliver all of our shows with all episodes at once. So we're pretty far ahead. So we don't see any disruption in our output over the next few months. You know, maybe later in the year, if this progresses long, you'll start feeling some of that as the physical production is not operating."

Some projects have continued in their development and early stages of production throughout this pandemic, even though crew members can't be in the same room. Sarandos went on to explain that the hit animated series Big Mouth just completed a virtual table read, keeping up workflow during the crisis.

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"One of our shows, Big Mouth, the other day, did their first virtual table read," he said. "We had 40 actors and writers with Netflix executives doing a table read of a new episode. So, people are being quite adaptive on getting ready to — on getting geared up for a time when we do get back to work."

While the physical productions have been shut down, Netflix is still doing what it can to take care of its crew members. The streamer is paying employees for two full weeks of work following the shutdowns. It has also set up a $100 million relief fund to help those in the entertainment industry most affected.

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