Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Netflix is reportedly planning to suspend production on all of its scripted TV series and films. The halt in production, which was first reported Friday afternoon, will affect all scripted Netflix Originals that film within the United States and Canada.
JUST IN: Netflix is halting production on all scripted TV series and films in the US and Canada for at least two weeks, two people briefed on the plans tell me. This will affect dozens of shows/movies.— John Koblin (@koblin) March 13, 2020
Among the shows affected are Stranger Things Season 4 and Grace and Frankie. Queer Eye, which was recently renewed for its sixth season, also just kicked off filming in Texas.
Although the streaming giant has not yet confirmed the reports or made any such announcements, halting production on its originals would fall in line with similar moves made by multiple other networks.
On Thursday night, it was reported that NBCUniversal had suspended production on roughly 35 series amid coronavirus concerns. Among the series impacted are all Dick Wolf dramas currently in production, the Chicago series – Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med and Law & Order: SVU, among several others.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in talk shows foregoing their in-studio audiences, with The View and Live With Kelly and Ryan taping in front of empty seats. Meanwhile, after initially suspending hosting audiences, The Wendy Williams Show has since postponed production altogether.
This would mark the latest precautionary measure Netflix has taken since the coronavirus outbreak began. On Thursday, the streamer shut down its downtown Los Angeles office after an employee was believed to have contracted COVID-19. That employee had come into close contact with somebody else who had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Netflix ordered all 1,000 employees who work at the building to work from home until further notice as the building underwent a deep cleaning. Netflix did not provide a comment on the incident.0comments
The precautionary measures come as confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 1,500, with 41 deaths. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the outbreak a global pandemic, stating that, "WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction."
Worldwide, there have been more than 130,000 confirmed cases and nearly 5,000 deaths as of Friday, according to WHO's March 13 situation report.