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Vancouver Productions Shut Down Due to COVID Test Delays

September 30, 2020 | By

Riverdale (Photo: The CW)

It looks like there’s trouble in paradise aka Vancouver, British Columbia, which was one of the first North American cities to start production with a lot of popular shows on The CW being the first ones out of the gate. Word comes from Variety that production on Warner Bros. Television‘s Riverdale and Batwoman, as well as CBS TV Studios‘ Nancy Drew and Charmed, has shut down due to delays in getting test results from the BC labs.

Apparenlty, Disney TV Studios has also pushed the pause button on David E. Kelley‘s new ABC show, Big Sky, for similar reasons. Kelley told reporters at a virtual Television Critics Association event, “There were some delays in test results, so out of caution we shut down yesterday and today. We expect to resume production either tomorrow or Friday.” 

On top of that Disney and Hulu‘s The Mysterious Benedict Society has also been put on hold, although there’s no word on other ABC/Disney shows like A Million Little Things and The Mighty Ducks.

All of these stoppages will likely be short-term, although they seem to be traced back to the same single lab that’s overseeing the COVID-19 testing, who has had to prioritize testing for schools and local businesses in Vancouver.

Although Warner Bros. Television recently finished filming The CW’s Supernatural, which was hit by the first COVID stoppage in March, it’s now also delaying the start of production on The CW shows, The FlashLegends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, all of which were supposed to start filming in the next week. Other productions like Maid being made by John Wells Productions for Netflix also shut down, although the status of ABC‘s The Good Doctor isn’t known.

British Columbia reopened production in June, primarily because it had handled the containment of COVID so well, but as Below the Line reported last week, Canada is being hit by a second wave, and the fact that schools are reopening likely won’t help matters. With dozens of movies and series now filming in Vancouver, it will be up to the Vancouver Film Commission to resolve the problems with testing.

This is breaking news, and Below the Line will keep you updated as we receive new reports.

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