HOLLYWOOD─I think it is safe for us to say that this pandemic is about to have a massive impact on the world of entertainment. I mean I cannot recall the last time all movie theaters were shuttered (if ever), and movies that we were so anticipating seeing on the big screen being pushed back months, in some cases, a whole year. The same sentiment can now be echoed for the TV world. If it’s a show that hadn’t already filmed its season finale for the year, it’s very likely the audience will not see it anytime soon people. I mean when you take a popular series like “Big Brother Canada” which witnessed its eighth season canceled because of this pandemic you know it’s serious. On top of that, the filming of season 41 on “Survivor” has been canceled and rumors reported by The Hollywood Reporter indicate there will be no U.S. version of “Big Brother,” which has become a summer staple during the hot summer months.
I know there will be TV to watch, but I’m starting to get the feeling that we’re going to be watching re-runs, repeats or general filler until some level of production can begin resuming again. Look, I’ll be the first to admit I loved reality TV, just as much as the next person, but I think that notion is about to come to a screeching halt as well. You cannot produce a reality show when everyone is being quarantined. We can skype or zoom (which has become the new hot commodity), but it’s not the same as watching a well-produced TV show.
With that said, I want to watch a good comedy, drama or thriller during the week. I mean you can only watch so much local and national news, and it’s starting to feel like with this remote news, this might become the new normal. How so? Um its much cheaper to produce, you don’t have to have staff in the office, and for so many local TV stations they have adapted fairly well and with quick ease people.
During the summer months, so many people are outdoors very little TV is being watched, but during the fall that is when people do spend more time indoors because the weather gets a bit chilly, and more time is spent in the house. Are we going to see repeat seasons of our favorite shows? Will there be some offbeat, not as funny comedy sketch series (we get a ton of those each year people)? I cannot really see what some of the Broadcast networks have in plan for the upcoming season.
I’m sure some pilots have been filmed, but not too many episodes are filmed because it’s all about audience perception. If the audience responds well to what is being seen that is a good sign, if not, that series is usually DOA (Dead on Arrival). I mean we have the late-night talk shows filming from home, but I’m sorry America, it’s not the same. Not having an audience makes a big difference; the laughter the energy, the host; they need that to propel the show in my opinion, otherwise it drags and it just drags and not in the best way.
Let’s say even if TV production gets back underway by June or July, I still think we’re going to see a delay in new programming hit the airwaves for the fall season. If anything, we might be looking at a TV season start towards the later end of 2020; if not at the start of 2021 if we’re lucky.