After widespread production suspensions and delays due to the spread of coronavirus in March, many TV shows are beginning to resume production this fall with increased safety measures, including mandatory COVID-19 testing for casts and crews. Unfortunately for some Vancouver-based productions, a backlog of tests at local labs has suspended production once again. According to Variety, cameras have stopped rolling on the sets of several CW series, including Riverdale, Batwoman, Nancy Drew, and Charmed. Meanwhile, production on The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, all of which were set to resume filming this week, has been delayed.
A studio executive told The Hollywood Reporter that the bottleneck at local testing facilities is a situation they're monitoring "hour by hour and day by day" as safety of the crews is of the "utmost importance." TV Guide has reached out to The CW for comment and will update this post when that is available.
But it's not just The CW whose shows are being affected either. ABC's new mystery drama from David E. Kelley, Big Sky, has also shut down. During a panel promoting the show at a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Kelley said, "There were some delays in the test results, so out of caution we did shut down yesterday and today, but fortunately everybody's been safe; we've had no incidences. We expect to resume production probably tomorrow or Friday."
Meanwhile, filming on Hulu's The Mysterious Benedict Society, an adaptation of the best-selling young adult novels, has also shut down, according to Variety.
Vancouver's relatively low infection rates prompted several U.S.-based productions to move across to the Canadian border, but local testing facilities weren't capable of keeping up with the influx of tests required by major studios and local guilds to meet stringent coronavirus safety protocols. At least one local lab in Vancouver is currently in the midst of increasing its rapid test capacity, which requires a 48-hour turnaround for American shoots in the British Columbia filming hub. A local Vancouver production executive told THR, "We've been assured they will soon be able to meet the demands of the industry."
There's no word yet on how this new delay will affect already-delayed premiere dates for these series. Riverdale previously concluded its fourth season early as a result of the spring production halt.