Riverdale And Batwoman Reportedly Shut Down Over COVID-19 Testing Delays

Production on The CW's Batwoman and Riverdale have both reportedly shut down due to processing delays with COVID-19 tests. According to a report from Variety, the testing delays are also prompting Warner Bros. Television to delay production on DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. Both of those series were set to start filming on their new seasons this week. Per the report, the shutdown is expected to be temporary as the lab overseeing coronavirus testing in Vancouver where the shows are filmed are prioritizing the testing from schools. It is unclear how long the delay will last.

Batwoman resumed production earlier this month with the show's official Twitter account sharing a short video featuring series stars Camrus Johnson and Nicole Kang, who play Luke Fox and Mary Hamilton on the series, back on set on September 3rd. Riverdale celebrated their return to production this month as well, with showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the first scene of Season 5 being filmed on September 14th.

Production pauses and delays are becoming something of a new norm when it comes to the pandemic for film and television productions. Earlier this month, production on The Batman was halted in Europe after a member of the production, later reported to be Robert Pattinson, had tested positive for COVID-19. The film resumed production a few weeks later after Pattinson was cleared of COVID-19 infection.

But even with the "new normal", there has been some good news when it comes to production. The CW's Supernatural which also saw production shutdown in March with only two episodes of its final season remaining, recently was able to complete filming those final episodes, with everyone involved adhering to stringent safety protocols that series star Jensen Ackles said made being on set safer than being in his apartment simply because they were all so diligent.

"Everybody was taking it very seriously," Ackles told Variety. "I would say being on set was safer than going home to my apartment, because everybody's getting tested, everybody was healthy and was checked on such a frequent basis you knew that there was nobody carrying the disease. I'm being very cautious, and I would have felt comfortable hugging the crew members, just because I know everybody was so diligently safe."

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Batwoman and Riverdale will return with new episodes in 2021 on The CW.

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