Fall TV Is Here, COVID-19 and All

After a frenzied spring and summer, when COVID-19 production delays left some in the television industry wondering if there would even be a fall TV season, we’ve finally reached a point where shows on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX are beginning to come back. Shows that can incorporate COVID-19 into their storytelling are doing so, while other shows — like The Goldbergs, which is set in the ‘80s — are avoiding it. Even production of Shark Tank resumed, with the “sharks” sitting a good distance apart. Reality shows are having to make the most adjustments. Participants are isolated at a hotel when not in production, while the people on set wear PPE except while on camera. Adding COVID-19 protections has been incredibly taxing, as well as expensive. As a result, everal shows that were renewed have been cancelled in the wake of production shutdowns. For instance, Stumptown had been renewed for a second season in early 2020, but that renewal was cancelled once the network realized they wouldn’t be able to safely resume production. That's because the show revolves around a love triangle, which calls for a lot of kissing. It’s impossible to say just how COVID-19 will permanently change the TV industry, but for now, everybody’s trying to pretend that this “new normal” is as normal as the old one.