'The Price Is Right' and 'Let's Make a Deal' Production Suspended Amid COVID-19 Spike

The CBS game shows The Price Is Right and Let's Make a Deal has postponed their returns from a holiday break due to the spiking coronavirus numbers in Los Angeles County. Both shows are produced by Fremantle and resumed filming in October after the initial pandemic lockdown last year. The Price Is Right was filmed without a studio audience and on a redesigned set with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

The Price Is Right and Let's Make a Deal was scheduled to return from a holiday break during the first two weeks of January. However, producers now hope to get production up and running during the end of the month, reports Deadline. Let's Make a Deal is returning to CBS with primetime specials and began filming in late October. The show had a mix of in-person and virtual contestants.

Other studios have paused production again, including CBS TV Studios, Disney's 20th Television, ABC Signature, Warner Bros. TV, Universal TV and Netflix, reports Variety. The Ellen DeGeneres Show also delayed restarting production by a week, while The Dr. Phil Show is planning to come back on Jan. 11 with a live Zoom audience. The Talk and The View returned from their holiday breaks with all hosts filming from home.

The coronavirus pandemic spike has only worsened in Los Angeles County. On Thursday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the number of residents dying from the virus each day is about equal to the number of homicide deaths in a year. "Yesterday we had 259 deaths, that's one more than all the homicides in 2019 in L.A. city combined. In a single day, equal to a year of homicides," Garcetti said in a Thursday news conference. The city has a population of almost 4 million, and L.A. County's population is 10 million.

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County health officials estimate that one person dies of COVID-19 every eight minutes there. "People who were otherwise leading healthy, productive lives are now passing away because of a chance encounter with the Covid-19 virus," they said this week. "This only ends when we each make the right decisions to protect each other."

On Thursday, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services announced Thursday they plan to establish temporary morgues in the county, reports The Los Angeles Times. On Friday, the county recorded 309 additional deaths, breaking the previous one-day high of 291 on New Year's Eve. Since the pandemic began, L.A. County has recorded at least 889,000 coronavirus cases and 11,800 deaths. Just over 4,300 deaths have been recorded since Thanksgiving.