Leave a Comment
Wildfires are once again affecting Southern California is some seriously devastating ways. Freshman series S.W.A.T. and high-profile HBO show Westworld regularly film in one of the areas that may be reached by the fires, and production has been suspended for the safety of everybody involved. Here's what's happening.
On the S.W.A.T. front, the show films at Santa Clarita Studios, which is located in Valencia, California. A brush fire being called the Rye Fire has affected the area, resulting in the nearby freeway being closed in both directions. With traffic a mess, the flames getting close to Santa Clarita Studios, and unsafe air, the entire cast and crew of S.W.A.T. was sent home as a precaution. Nobody from the show seems to be in danger, although there's no saying when production will be able to resume. Presumably the top priority will be in preserving the safety of everybody involved with the show.
A number of shows actually film at Santa Clarita studios, but Deadline reports that only S.W.A.T. was actually scheduled to shoot today. The fire can apparently be seen from the studio itself, and the internet is down. Westworld also films in the Santa Clarita area, and it too has shut down production due to the Rye Fire. HBO has released a statement that (per Variety) established Westworld had stopped production early in the day and will pick up filming once more "as soon as it's safe to do so."
It's impossible to say at this point when it will be safe for TV crews to get back in action in the Santa Clarita area. The Rye Fire has already blazed through upward of 500 acres of land, and residents have been evacuated by the thousands. Unfortunately, the Rye Fire isn't the only wildfire affecting the region, and fighting the fires has been difficult due to the Santa Ana winds. We can only hope that everybody in the region is able to reach safety and avoid the flames.
As for Westworld, there's no saying if the show will or will not be significantly delayed by the fire, as no official premiere date for the second season had been released. We do know that spring of 2018 was the intended premiere window, but it was never announced whether "spring" meant late March or early June. We'll have to wait and see.