Hollywood Execs and Agents Expect 'Plenty' More Shows to Be Canceled Over COVID-19

Several television shows have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as shows such [...]

Several television shows have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as shows such as GLOW and Stumptown have been canceled due to the health crisis. According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, more cancellations could be on the way as this pandemic continues to remain a problem for the country. While there are different reasons why the shows may have been canceled, the programs have all accrued increased costs due to the pandemic and it has played a major factor in their cancellations.

Because of the pandemic, filming requires each production to adhere to various safety protocols that were put in place and agreed upon by the respective guilds and studios. It costs a great deal for each production to adhere to these guidelines, which is why some shows have, unfortunately, been canceled. As producer Alex Kurtzman explained, "It really depends on the show itself but I'm going to give you a rough number and say it's between $300,000 and $500,000 additional per episode for PPE. It's just in keeping people safe — and that's not a number you can skimp on." On the low end, that could mean that a 22-episode series could be adding $6.6 million to its budget. That figure does not even include the costs associated with the additional time that it will take to film these shows amidst a pandemic, costs such as paying the cast and crew and location fees.

A top literary agent told THR, "Costs have spiraled, and when you put COVID-19 on top of that, it makes shows not make sense." As for how many more shows can expect to receive cancellation news, the agent noted that "plenty" could be canceled as the country is still dealing with the pandemic. Over the past few months, multiple series have been canceled, with the COVID-19 pandemic given as one of the reasons why they could not continue. Most recently, Netflix decided to go back on its plan to give GLOW a fourth and final season. Instead, the third season, which premiered on the streaming service in August 2019, will be its last.

"COVID has killed actual humans. It's a national tragedy and should be our focus. COVID also apparently took down our show. Netflix has decided not to finish filming the final season of GLOW," series creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch said in a statement to Deadline about the news. "We were handed the creative freedom to make a complicated comedy about women and tell their stories. And wrestle. And now that's gone. There's a lot of s—y things happening in the world that are much bigger than this right now. But it still sucks that we don't get to see these 15 women in a frame together again."