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In the most sweeping TV studio response to the growing coronavirus pandemic yet, NBCUniversal has suspended production on the majority of its TV series across all entertainment production units, Universal Television, UCP, Universal Television Alternative Studios and First Run Syndication productions. That totals about 35 shows, I hear.NBCUniversal
The list includes all Dick Wolf dramas still in production, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D, Chicago Med and Law & Order: SVU for NBC and FBI for CBS, as well as NBC’s New Amsterdam - all from Universal Television - upcoming limited series for Peacock Angelyne starring Emmy Rossum from UCP and NBCU’s breakout freshman syndicated talker The Kelly Clarkson Show. When possible, shows will finish their current episodes. The Kelly Clarkson Show will have one more original airing tomorrow before the break.
As Deadline reported earlier today, Uni TV yesterday put on hold production of several series that had not yet started filming, Season 2 on Russian Doll, starring Natasha Lyonne, for Netflix, Season 2 of anthology Little America for Apple and Season 1 of Rutherford Falls, headlined by Ed Helms'
The Chicago shows film in Chicago which had the first known case of a TV production staffer testing positive for the coronavirus, a crew member of new Fox drama NeXt. Meanwhile, the FBI dramas shoot in New York, where Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today declared a state of emergency over the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
“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.”
While most shows are expected to resume production, the Dick Wolf dramas, which are close to wrapping their seasons, are among a few that will not return, calling it a season, I hear. That is a strategy also employed by CBS TV Studios on its procedural dramas.
If nothing below suits your sensibilities, check out our guide to What You Should Watch On Streaming Right Now.
Desus & Mero: Showtime, 11:00 p.m. – The comedy duo and Bodega Boys podcasters welcome the one and only Nick Kroll to talk about pop culture, sports, and whatever else comes to mind.
The Unicorn CBS, 8:30 p.m. - Wade Walton Goggins is assessing his feelings for Caroline Betsy Brandt, leader of the Widow’s Support Group, which never ends well. Grace is going through awkward middle-school stuff, which also, you know, doesn’t ever go well.
Katy Keene CW, 8:00 p.m. - The newest Riverdale spinoff sees Katy attempting to get into fashion school, and there’s some polar vortex coming along that sounds less stressful than the novel coronavirus.
Young Sheldon CBS, 8:00 p.m. - Is Dr. Sturgis a plagiarist? Sheldon thinks so, and Mary’s searching for the right trophy for Missy.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine NBC, 8:30 p.m. - Jake and Amy are stuck on an uncrackable case, and Hitchcock is looking for love while Holt’s on a new beat.
Will & Grace NBC, 9:00 p.m. - Will and Grace are worried that Karen’s life is in danger with her new boyfriend in a remote cabin. Is this for real?
Deputy FOX, 9:00 p.m. - A local gang recruits one of Charlie’s mentees, and the whole team must try and save her life. Meanwhile, Bill’s term is drawing to an end.
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The Television Academy is adjusting the eligibility and voting deadlines for this year’s Primetime Emmy calendar in response to concerns made by TV communication executives and awards strategists in the current coronavirus climate.
The dates for the Creative Emmy Awards and Primetime Emmy shows remain unchanged respectively on Sept. 12-13 and Sept. 20, and will only be moved should state and national safety directives deem them to be, should the coronavirus worsen.
This morning’s big changes involve the entry deadline moving close to four weeks from May 11 to June 5, and the Phase one voting period jumping from June 15-29 to July 2-13 with the new nominations announcement date being July 28 instead of July 14. The Phase one period thus shrinks from 15 days to 12 days.
Phase 2 voting, which was originally set for Aug 17-31, will start slightly later, and shave off four days, now occurring between Aug. 21-31.
Also being extended is the eligibility date for hanging episodes for regular series and limited series, as the TV Academy takes into account production and programming delays. Now, all hanging episodes must broadcast or post on an accessible platform by June 30, instead of May 31. Both regular and limited series must still premiere by the end of this year’s eligibility date which remains May 31. A minimum of six episodes continues to be required for a show to be qualified in the series category. A limited series in its entirety must air or post on a platform before June 30, and if it doesn’t, then the limited series will qualify in the 2020-2021 Emmy year.
Meanwhile, all TV Academy FYC events “whether with a live audience, streaming or recorded for posting on a viewing platform” per the org remain suspended for the current Emmy season.
In recent weeks, the TV Academy appeared to be standing firm on their original voting and eligibility dates. However, TV publicists and Emmy campaign strategists reportedly voiced their reservations about promoting too heavily and too soon, thus wanting to exercise a greater degree of sensitivity in a spring that’s been rocked by COVID-19: Many productions have shut down, leaving many out of work, and the whole atmosphere across the nation is rather dour as we all self quarantine. Emmy season has traditionally been decked with glam marketing, billboards, food trucks, stunt events, big DVD boxes and soirees. Earlier this year, to tame some of that, the TV Academy banned DVD mailers to voters, and in doing so, favored online screeners. The hope here with the TV Academy’s tweaking of the FYC calendar is that we’ll be on the other side of the curve in regards to coronavirus, and in a lighter-spirited environment. Between the entertainment capitals, New York City currently counts 23K COVID-19 cases and 365 deaths as of yesterday while Los Angeles counts 1,2K cases...
Apple has resurrected Steven Spielberg’s anthology series Amazing Stories as part of its Apple TV+ streaming service, the first of their shows to be a revival of a pre-existing show. The original series ran from 1985 through 1987 on NBC. Apple’s first season consists of five hour-long stories.
The first episode of the new series stars Dylan O’Brien as a modern man who travels back in time through the basement of a house he’s restoring. Episode two tells the afterlife tale of a runner Hailey Kilgore who gets hit by a car, but stays around to help her friend E’myri Crutchfield. The newest episode stars Robert Forster as a grandfather who gains super powers from an old toy ring.
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz serve as showrunners on the new Amazing Stories. Their previous credits include creating and running Once Upon a Time and writing and producing for Lost. Kitsis and Horowitz spoke with /Film by phone this week about Amazing Stories and a little bit about their Beauty and the Beast prequel series for Disney+. New episodes of Amazing Stories premiere Fridays on Apple TV+.
Was there ever a question of using the original Amazing Stories theme song?
Horowitz: No. John Williams’ theme was so iconic. From day one, it was a must have for us and everybody involved knew that there really was no way we could do this without it.
How did you come up with new animation for it?
Kitsis: We hired a title company and basically we, really almost right away, I think we spent a year going over development with them. You just look at different images and animation and just kind of gradually came about over the last year.
Horowitz: It was a collaborative effort. They did incredible work. They worked with us and with Amblin and Steven had input in it all. It was a long process to try to get it to the place where it is now and got more specific as we started to shoot the episodes and get images to put into it.
Kitsis: The company’s name is Elastic. They’re phenomenal. They’ve done so many titles that you’ve seen.
Horowitz: If you look in the title sequence as you watch the episodes, you see images from the various episodes are incorporated in the title sequence.
What was the decision to go full hour versus the ½ hour of most of the original Amazing Stories?
Horowitz: I think it was less about a conscious decision about the episodes should be an hour or a half hour than as we discussed the kind of stories we wanted to tell, a length sort of revealed itself to us which is this 45 to 50 minute length which felt about right for the size of the stories we were telling. It really was about letting the stories dictate the length rather than try to dictate an arbitrary timeframe for it.
Can the stories be any edgier on streaming than they were on...