NBCUniversal Prepares to Resume Filming on Hollywood Lot After Coronavirus Shutdown

Last week the California Department of Health gave the greenlight for film and television productions to resume in Los Angeles, and though most major productions haven't yet returned to filming there was one major experiment being run at one of Hollywood's largest lots. Deadline brings word that NBCUniversal has "substantially transformed" the work areas and studios on their lot with "a fortified safety-first approach." They even ran a test shoot on their lot last Friday in an attempt to run a "production-resumption exercise," complete with a cast and crew and potential scenarios that productions may run into when they resume filming in the near future.

According to the trade, the production exercise run by the studio included 25 people in various "roles" as actors/crew members for a theoretical production on the lot. This was done to "pressure-test safety protocols and possible worst-cases scenarios," and even saw them practice handling unexpected events like a "surprise introduction of a piece of equipment on site that hadn’t been sanitized" and what to do when a cast or crew member develops a fever. Overall the entire exercise went through the types of things that will become routine on sets in the near future including: "daily check-in process, coronavirus and temperature testing, catering, mic tests and the shooting of an actual scene under the conditions."

The outlet reports that NBCU brought back "a small number of hands-on production and operations staff" on Monday of this week. A special "Welcome Back Pack" was also gifted to everyone that returned to work including masks hand sanitizer (both made in-house) and other needed items like a multi-purpose tool "designed to avoid direct contact with surfaces, handles and elevator buttons." These were created and distributed to staff that have returned to work in California, Florida, and the the Tri-State area.

It's unclear when the lot will fully re-open for shooting to resume but NBC very recently announced their plans for the Fall 2020 TV schedule which features an ambitious amount of new programming slated to premiere. Shows returning for the 2020-21 schedule on NBC include The Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Dateline NBC, Ellen’s Game of Games, Good Girls, Law & Order: SVU, Making It, Manifest, NBC Sunday Night Football, New Amsterdam, Superstore, This Is Us, The Voice and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. New shows set to be broadcast include Kenan, Mr. Mayor, Small Fortune, That’s My Jam Transplant, True Story, Who Do You Think You Are?, and Young Rock.