NBC has pulled an upcoming episode of its medical drama New Amsterdam that focuses on a deadly flu pandemic in New York City, which is currently considered to be the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. The episode had initially been scheduled to air on Tuesday, April 7, though the producers, network, and studio mutually agreed to pull the episode, initially titled "Pandemic" and later renamed "Our Doors Are Always Open," in light of recent events.
"Being sensitive to the current climate, the producers, network and studio have decided that the episode will not air on NBC on April 7 as previously scheduled," an NBC spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE. "Another new episode of New Amsterdam will air on April 14 at 9 p.m. as the season finale."
According to Deadline, the episode will instead air at a later, yet to be announced date. The episode, which had been written in 2019, was set and filmed in New York City, where, according to a Johns Hopkins database, there have been more than 20,000 confirmed cases and 280 deaths.
Speaking out about the decision to pull the episode, executive producer and showrunner David Schulner said that "the world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts."
"We showed what happens when our hospital has to erect tents in the parking lot because every bed is taken," Schulner said of the medical drama. "Today, we woke up to images of the military erecting tents to serve as makeshift morgues outside Bellevue hospital as New York is bracing for potential surge in coronavirus victims."
"Sometimes, what the mirror reflects back is too horrifying to look at," he added.0comments
In response to the pandemic and growing concerns over shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators for hospitals and hospital staff, New Amsterdam donated "half a truckload of PPE, masks, gloves, gowns and face masks" used in the series to New York hospitals, Schulner previously announced.
Other medical dramas have done the same, including ABC's Grey's Anatomy and spinoff series Station 19, The Good Doctor, and Fox's The Resident.