Coronavirus: The Global Shutdown continues (13th March)…

In an unprecedented cultural move, TV series, theatres, parks, sports and conventions are all being shuttered...

With people more concerned with their health than entertainment, it’s still compelling to show the impact being made on a cultural level as the coronavirus and the need for ‘social distancing’ affects businesses and events for months to come…

In the US, restrictions and changes to personal and industry-behaviour are changing quickly, sometimes by the hour. All Disney theme-parks across the globe have now begun a shutdown which will see them without visitors by early next week and the Universal Studios in both Florida and California will also be closed to the public. (Their on-site hotel facilities will however remain open for the foreseeable future). Both companies have also indicated they hope to reopen their parks at the end of the month if possible. Major sports tournaments have been postponed. Broadway‘s raft of stage-productions will also be ‘going dark’ from 1th March to 15th April after NYC Governor Andrew Cuomo placed restrictions on large group gatherings in the state.

Television dramas that now seem to have been halted or delayed productions include:  Angelyne, Bull, Carnival Row, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D, Chicago Med, Law & Order SVU (the Chicago titles and the latter’s New York-based production are all Dick Wolf company titles that are unlikely to resume filming this season and will have a reduced episode count), Dynasty, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, FBI, The Foundation (which was filming in Ireland), The Good Fight, Grey’s Anatomy, Little America, The Morning Show, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, New Amsterdam, Riverdale, Russian Doll and Rutherford Falls. Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – which is currently shooting in Australia – has seen  director Destin Daniel Cretton self-isolate as he awaits the results of testing for the virus, however second-unit work will continue.

Game-shows such as Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and daytime series such as Live With Kelly and Ryan, The Tamron Hall Show and The View are currently being filmed sans studio audiences. Chat-shows such as Late Night (with Seth Myers) and The Tonight Show (with Jimmy Fallon) and The Late, Late Show (with Stephen Colbert) had also planned to shoot without studio-audiences, but it has since been decided to halt production and broadcast reruns until the current crisis is over. All the major US tv networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and The CW) would usually be about to run ‘up-front’ presentations which are designed to show off their next wave of proposed pilots and existing show promotions to interested parties. However all of the companies have now decided to not do in-person events in the current climate – aware of the advice against large gatherings and are each finding ways to promote their plans in a digital or multimedia format.  PaleyFest, which introduces Q&As with the cast of key primetime shows to a gathered audience, has also decided to delay its schedule due to begin later this month (this year’s shows were set to include: The Mandalorian, Star Trek: Picard and Outlander and it’s likely almost all will try to take place at a later date. The annual Tribeca Film Festival due to run 15th-26th April in New York has also been postponed.

With Europe now considered the current epicentre of the pandemic, there are growing restrictions there. Belgium, France, Switzerland and parts of Germany have closed schools, Italy has gone further and largely closed its borders, shutingt down all businesses other than supermarkets and pharmacies. The Eiffel Tower will close tonight for the forseeable future. The UK has  – somewhat strangely – less restrictions at the moment, resisting the need to forcefully postpone large gatherings – but they are almost certain to increase: all professional football games have been cancelled until at least 3rd April, cricket and golf tournaments and high-end rugby events are also being postponed until further notice. The London Marathon has been postponed until 4th October.  May’s local elections will be rescheduled, likely into 2021.