While Coronavirus has turned all of our lives topsy-turvy, it’s had a profound effect on the operational and logistics of television. At this stage of the season, most shows would be in full swing, getting ready to A) drop their mid-season premiere or B) début their latest episodes during mid-season. The Covid-19 protocols that many states have put into place (not to mention the strict guidelines of television hotspots Vancouver and Toronto, Canada) have halted production on multiple shows, leaving premiere dates up in the air.
Mainstays such as ABC’s Gray’s Anatomy and NBC’s This Is Us already announced their mid-season start-ups would be delayed.
Seemingly unaffected by the pandemic is The CW. Rolling out multiple shows with new content, the network seems to be going for quantity over quality. Leading the charge is longtime Supernatural actor Jared Padalecki on his new show, Walker. A loose reboot of Chuck Norris’s 90’s procedural Walker, Texas Ranger, The CW is banking on Padalecki’s built-in fan base to boost a rookie show.
Fox also has returning shows that were able to adhere to CDC guidelines and still film. Dramas 9-1-1 and its spin-off, 9-1-1: Lone Star, will both premiere this month. The network’s other popular drama The Resident will also drop in January.
With the glut of the schedule falling in January, the premieres for February and March are largely empty. Cable shows are faring a little better than networks. Notable premieres are TNT’s Snowpiercer, FX’s Snowfall, and a slew of HBO offerings. Some of the premier network new shows are:
The Mare of Easttown (starring Kate Winslet)
The White Lotus (starring Connie Britton)
The Nevers (starring Olivia Williams)
Scenes From a Marriage (starring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac)
One thing is certain: the uncertainty of the pandemic has reached its grubby hands through all facets of life, including the might of Hollywood.