Amid the global coronavirus crisis, Grey's Anatomy officially shut down production on Thursday, joining the growing list of TV series to do so. The news was broken to the cast and crew with a letter sent by showrunner Krista Vernoff and executive producers Debbie Allen and James D. Parriott.
"To Our Incredible Cast and Crew," the letter began, according to E! News. "Out of an abundance of caution, production is postponed on Grey's Anatomy effective immediately. We are going home now for at least two weeks and waiting to see how the coronavirus situation evolves."
"This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of the whole cast and crew and the safety of our loved ones outside of work, and it was made in accordance with Mayor Garcetti's suggestion that we not gather in groups of more than 50," it continued, referencing L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ordering of the postponement of all non-essential events that require close contact between more than 50 people.
"Stay safe, stay healthy, stay hydrated, stay home as much as possible, and wash your hands frequently," it concluded. "Please take care of yourselves and each other. As updates come in, we will keep you informed."
The sudden halt in production came as the ABC medical drama just wrapped production on Episode 21 of its 25-episode 16th season, according to Deadline. The series aired Season 16, Episode 17, "Life on Mars?" Thursday night. It is unclear if the postponement will affect the airing of future episodes.
As concern over the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow, with the World Health Organization (WHO) classifying it as a pandemic, a number of TV series have halted production as a precautionary measure. Apple TV+ has halted the production of The Morning Show, Amazon has paused the Orlando Bloom-starring series Carnival Rowe, and the productions of Survivor, The Amazing Race, Riverdale, and many others have also been impacted.
Late-night programming has also been impacted, with The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers suspending production.0comments
Meanwhile, talk shows are moving forward without in-studio audiences. Those series include The Wendy Williams Show, The View, and Live with Kelly and Ryan, along with the game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
New episodes of Grey's Anatomy air Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.