20 Series That Shut Down Production Because of the Health Crisis

Martha Sorren | Apr 3, 2020 TV
20 Series That Shut Down Production Because of the Health Crisis

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale (2017)
George Kraychyk/Hulu

This is a complicated time for the television industry. A great deal of TV production goes on in the spring as network shows finish up their 2020 seasons and prep for fall releases. This year, a ton of TV shows have been delayed due to the global health crisis. The nationwide recommendation from the CDC is that large gatherings be limited until at least the end of April. That means that several TV productions had to be shut down to comply.

Delaying filming has different ramifications for each show, depending on what type they are. The impact on a show that was finishing up a season is much different from a production shut down on a series that had only just begun filming.

Many network dramas that tape week to week were wrapping up their spring seasons when the hiatus came, meaning those seasons are likely to end a few episodes shy of their original season order. For shows midway through filming, the remaining taped episodes will likely air, and then production will have to resume on the rest of the season whenever it's safe to do so. Shows that typically tape their full seasons all at once (think Hulu or Netflix shows) may see dramatic shifts to their original premiere dates.

There are two big impacts to this production shutdown. The first is that our favorite shows will end earlier than planned this spring. The second is that we'll likely have a lot less content to watch this summer and fall, because things that usually air then may not have taped in time. 

Good thing we can all re-watch things like The Office over and over until these 20 shows are able to start back up again.

  • The 'Friends' Reunion

    The cast of Friends
    NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

    After more than a decade off the air, the Friends reunion special was finally, finally happening ... until this whole situation unfolded. Initially, the reunion -- set to air on HBO Max -- was scheduled to film in March and premiere in May. However, now filming has been delayed, until at least May, which could also push the premiere date forward. But after years of waiting, we suppose we can wait a little longer.

  • 'Riverdale'


    Riverdale was one of the first shows to suspend production, which became a necessity after someone who worked on the series discovered they'd been in contact with someone who had been sick. The series is in the middle of airing its fourth season, but will likely be cut short by a handful of episodes. The only confirmed Riverdale episode still airing is the musical on April 15. Beyond that, the rest of the season's schedule is unclear.

  • 'Grey's Anatomy'

    Ellen Pompeo in Grey's Anatomy
    Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

    Originally, Grey's Anatomy was supposed to air 25 episodes this season, but filming was cut short in March. Now, episode 21 is serving as the season finale on April 9. Showrunner Krista Vernoff took to Twitter to announce the news, writing, "We are disappointed that we don’t get to complete our storytelling this season. The good news? [Episode 21] plays like a satisfying finale! It’s not where we planned to end, but it’s beautiful & the questions that linger we will answer next year."

  • 'Saturday Night Live'

    Colin Jost on Saturday Night Live
    Will Heath/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

    On March 16, Saturday Night Live announced that it was postponing its next three shows since it tapes in front of an audience in crowded New York City. (Actor John Krasinski was scheduled to host the next show, originally airing on March 28.) However, since the movie he was going to promote (A Quiet Place: Part II) has also been postponed, it's unclear if SNL will go with another host when it resumes taping.

  • 'Stranger Things'


    Netflix has paused production on all of its shows, including Stranger Things. According to IndieWire, Netflix is still paying the crew members for what amounts to two 40-hour work weeks even though production is shut down. Stranger Things was in the middle of filming season four when the hiatus happened, which could end up pushing the premiere date to as late as 2021.

  • 'The Bachelorette'


    Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette was supposed to begin filming in March, but has been delayed indefinitely. It seems unlikely that it will make its original May premiere date at this rate, meaning the show could end up airing later this summer, fall, or even next year -- depending on when filming can resume. Host Chris Harrison said that the cast may change before then, since not everyone may still be available to film months from now.

  • 'The Bachelor: Summer Games'

    Chris Harrison
    Paul Hebert via Getty Images

    The Bachelor franchise version of The Olympics was set to air alongside the Games this summer. But with the postponement of the summer Olympics to 2021, Bachelor: Summer Games was pulled from the ABC lineup. It could be moved to next year like the Games themselves were. Bachelor in Paradise's status is also up in the air since the series traditionally tapes in June. It's unknown if filming will be able to resume by then.

  • 'Law & Order: SVU'

    Mariska Hargitay in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    Will Hart/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

    The SVU showrunner said on Twitter that episode 20 will likely end up being the season finale instead of the planned 24th episode. However, it may end up tying the story up nicely anyway. "If [episode 20] is [the finale], it will be oddly fine in that slot -- with return performances from many perps and [victims] we've met this season," the showrunner said.

  • 'The Amazing Race'

    Phil Keoghan on The Amazing Race
    Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images

    Since the entire premise of The Amazing Race is for teams to literally race around the world, it makes sense that CBS suspended production on season 33. Global travel right now is seriously discouraged, and it's unknown when restrictions will ease. However, CBS does have the completed season 32 that was filmed in 2018 sitting on a shelf waiting to air. Perhaps they can release that soon to tide people over if filming on the next season is delayed much longer.

  • 'New Amsterdam'

    George Wyner and Ryan Eggold in New Amsterdam

    NBC's medical show was actually gearing up for a flu-themed episode when the world changed dramatically. The episode has been shelved until a later date. That, combined with an early end to production will bring New Amsterdam's second season to a close on April 14, with just 18 episodes total instead of the original 22.

  • 'America's Got Talent'

    Simon Cowell on America's Got Talent
    Frederick M. Brown/Getty Image

    The talent competition was in the middle of filming auditions when production was shut down. Now, America's Got Talent has re-opened their application site so people bored at home can submit videos of their talents for consideration. When it eventually starts filming again, fans will see Heidi Klum back at the judges' table after a brief hiatus from the show.

  • 'Succession'

    Kieran Culkin and Jeremy Strong in Succession

    Production on HBO's popular series Succession has been delayed, along with all of the network's other shows. "We are looking forward to resuming preproduction when it is safe and healthy for everyone working on our shows to do so," HBO said in a statement provided to Deadline. "Where possible, our writers are continuing to write remotely."

  • 'Supernatural'


    After 15 seasons, Supernatural was scheduled to come to an end this year. But with only 13 of its episodes completed, the show is now off the air indefinitely. According to TV Line, Executive producer Andrew Dabb promised that they will give the show its proper goodbye whenever it's safe to resume filming -- no matter how long that may take.

  • 'The Resident'


    The Resident was among the first medical shows to donate its prop PPE (masks, gowns, etc.) to a hospital in need. (Grey's Anatomy, The Good Doctor, and more followed suit.) With filming closed down, The Resident didn't need the equipment, and medical workers sorely do. Now, the show's third season will come to a close on April 7, three episodes shy of its full season order.

  • 'Survivor'

    Jeff Probst on Survivor
    Timothy Kuratek/CBS via Getty Images

    The currently airing season of Survivor has already completed filming and will be unaffected -- although the live finale may need to be delayed. Going forward, both seasons 41 and 42 have postponed filming for the time being. Season 41 was due to begin taping on March 24, and season 42 was going to film in May. The delay on both those seasons may lead to later premiere dates than usual. 

  • 'American Idol'

    Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry on American Idol
    Josh Vertucci/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

    The search for America's next great singer is on hold, because American Idol can't tape live shows at the moment. The final pre-taped episode will air April 5, and then two specials will air April 12 and April 19. The rest of the season's trajectory isn't clear beyond that. When the situation first called for it, the producers sent all the contestants home to be with their families. It's unclear if they'll be able to reunite for live shows at any point in the near future.

  • 'The Handmaid's Tale'


    The fourth season of this Hulu show was due out sometime in 2020, likely in the summer, which is when season three aired. But that may change now that The Handmaid's Tale has postponed filming the rest of its season four episodes. Star Elisabeth Moss took to Instagram to post about the shut down, writing: "This show is my life and this cast and crew is my family. Nothing is more important than making sure they and everyone around them is safe. We hope to be back in production as soon as it’s safe to do so."

  • 'The Morning Show'


    Season two of the Apple TV+ show was underway when the ongoing global health crisis forced it to shut down production. That was on March 12, and the production team originally planned for a two week hiatus. However, with the president calling for social distancing measures through the end of April, that two weeks will likely be extended indefinitely. 

  • 'The Voice'

    Blake Shelton on The Voice
    Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

    Right now, The Voice has enough pre-taped episodes to air through the end of April. After that, the live shows were scheduled to tape in May. It's possible that things will change by then and that will be allowed, but for now, everyone's just waiting to see how this situation progresses -- and making judgement calls based on developing information.

  • 'The Bold Type'


    Freeform's series about three women who work at a fashion magazine was nearly done with filming for season four when the set was closed down. The spring finale was able to air, but there are still two episodes left to film to complete the season. The show is due to return this summer with eight more episodes, but may be cut short if the team can't finish up those final episodes in time.


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