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Growing concerns over the spreading coronavirus have already affected many movie releases, and for the past week or so we've been seeing the issue crop up with the production of television shows as well. Series like The Witcher, MacGyver, Superstore and The Bachelorette are all either going on temporary production shut-downs or cancelling plans to film the rest of their seasons at all. Now, Last Man Standing has become the latest in a string of shows to close its doors in an effort to stop the pandemic, but all hope isn't lost for fans just yet.
According to Deadline, the cast and crew of Last Man Standing only had two days of production on Season 8 left, so they were trying to push toward the finish line with a completed season. The family sitcom had already decided to tape the season finale (which was scheduled for March 17) without a live audience. On Sunday afternoon, though, the studio behind the show made the decision to step up efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus and suspended production altogether.
Luckily for fans, though, this might not mean a Season 8 ending to Last Man Standing that's without a clear focus. The current production shutdown time for all Disney TV Studios shows, which include Last Man Standing and The Orville, is only scheduled to last for three weeks. Right now, the producers are willing to consider bringing everyone back together for the last two days of production once they see what the situation looks like after the shutdown is complete.
Last Man Standing was one of only a few holdouts in the television landscape which was trying to push toward completed production. By the time its studio decided to stop production on the last two days of filming, dozens of TV shows had already stopped production, with many shutdowns currently scheduled to last for two or three weeks.
Many of these were simply due to efforts to be cautious, as with shows like Grey's Anatomy, all Apple TV+ series which were currently filming such as The Morning Show, the Amazon Originals like Lord of the Rings, the NCIS franchise and 35 NBCUniversal shows, which include Dick Wolf's Chicago Fire and its spinoffs, as well as The Kelly Clarkson Show. However, The CW's Riverdale suspended production after realizing that a crew member had come into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
In addition, as mentioned earlier, there are some studios which have decided to simply bring an abrupt ending to their production schedule and not complete their seasons. These shows include MacGyver, The Neighborhood and Superstore.
While everyone wants the casts and crews of all the shows which have stopped production to stay healthy and be safe, it is a true bummer that some of these series won't be able to film their season finales as planned. Many people are beginning to work from home and self-isolate as a precaution against contracting and spreading the coronavirus, and new episodes of one's favorite show can always help with the anxiety that comes from living during a pandemic, not to mention the cabin fever.
Hopefully, all the production shutdowns will help to stop the virus, and things (everywhere) can get back to something that looks like normalcy before too much longer. Including, of course, Last Man Standing and many of these other TV shows being able to finish the season in the way fans deserve.