The TV world is trying to get back on its feet amid the COVID-19 pandemic, something that has proved to be an interesting struggle over the past few weeks. Many of the shows that film in British Columbia have begun to see that firsthand, after a reported delay in processing COVID-19 tests. Almost a week after the shutdowns were first announced, Variety is confirming that The CW's Batwoman and Riverdale, as well as the Netflix miniseries Maid, have been cleared to restart production, and will do so on Wednesday.
The report indicates that some of The CW's other shows - including The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow - continue to be on pause, after filming was supposed to begin last week. The CW's Nancy Drew and Charmed were also shut down last week as well. The network also plans to begin filming two of its freshman series - Superman & Lois and Kung Fu - next week, but that will reportedly depend on the testing backlog.
According to the report, COVID-19 tests are performed for TV cast and crew three times a week, and these production shutdowns were caused by a delay in processing tests. Only one company in British Columbia, LifeLabs, has been approved to oversee testing for U.S.-based productions. The report indicates that studios have been trying to accommodate the lab, or seek out back-up labs, to potentially prevent future backlogs or production shutdowns. But as a source tells Variety, the protocols for testing on these TV sets have gone against what British Columbia has been already doing for its tests.
“The government here said don’t do asymptomatic testing," the source claims. "They came and did it anyway. It predictably didn’t work, because our government, who has been successful in fighting the virus, is prioritizing the testing they deem medically necessary.”
These pauses in production have become increasingly commonplace in the entertainment industry, as high-profile productions attempt to resume amid the virus' spread. While there have been some instances of COVID-19 cases on major sets - most notably in The Batman, which had to briefly shut down production last month - many programs have had to be extra diligent while filming on set.
What do you think of Batwoman and Riverdale resuming production? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!