NBCUniversal has suspended production on more than two dozen series amid growing concern over the novel coronavirus. Confirmed by Deadline Thursday night, the move is just the latest in a sweeping number of postponements and cancellations in the entertainment industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The safety and health of our cast, crew and employees is our top priority," NBCU said in a statement Thursday night. "Where possible, we are pausing production for two weeks as a precautionary measure, following which we will reassess and determine an appropriate start date. In some cases, we are accelerating plans to wrap up physical production."
According to the outlet, roughly 35 series are impacted by the halt in production. Those series include all Dick Wolf dramas currently in production, the Chicago series Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med, and Law & Order: SVU for NBC. NBC's New Amsterdam is also affected. CBS' FBI has also been impacted, as well as Angelyne, Peacock's upcoming limited series starring Emmy Rossum, breakout freshman syndicated talker The Kelly Clarkson Show, the latter of which will have one more airing on Friday.
At this time, it is believed that all series will resume production at a later, yet to be announced date. However, the Dick Wolf dramas, as well as a few others, are not expected to resume production. Those series were already near the end of production for their respective seasons.
The news comes New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency. Several series film in New York and have therefore been impacted by the precautionary measures being taken there.
It also comes as NBCUniversal, as well as fellow networks like CBS, The CW, WarnerMedia, Disney, and Discovery canceled their in-person May TV upfront events.
"At this moment in time, we can embrace a new future that puts our audiences and our partners first," Linda Yaccarino, Chairman of Advertising & Partnerships, NBCUniversal, said, according to The Wrap. "This year's Upfront Presentation will ensure everyone's safety, while allowing us to give fans and marketers a preview of the upcoming season."
NCUniversal will instead televise its upfront presentation for regular viewers, according to the outlet.
The developments come amid growing concern over the novel coronavirus, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the outbreak a pandemic on Wednesday. In the United States, more than 1,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19.