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the bold and the beautiful cast bikinis and beach balls

The TV industry is potentially on the cusp of returning to form, with parts of the country attempting to return to normal amidst the pandemic. In particular, CBS' The Bold and the Beautiful was perhaps the first U.S. scripted series to officially go back into production this week – it's already being delayed again, but more on that later – and the long-running soap opera is making big changes to incorporate new social distancing guidelines. And yes, those changes include utilizing blow-up dolls for future sex scenes.

Not everyone has a job where kissing colleagues and simulated sex are regular enough parts of the work week, but veteran Bold and the Beautiful cast members have gotten used to that sort of things over the years. Even so, the show's new social distancing rules will make the show's romantic scenes and storylines all the more unique, with new approaches to how characters will be shown kissing each other. And as we mentioned earlier, the show will have blow-up dolls available for moments when all involved want to do more than just kiss. Here's how executive producer and head writer Bradley Bell put it in an interview with Forbes:

We have some life-like blow up dolls that have been sitting around here for the past 15 years, that we’ve used for various other stories — (like) when people were presumed dead. We’re dusting off the dolls and putting new wigs and make-up on them and they'll be featured in love scenes.

Does it make things even more disturbing when considering that the lifelike dolls being used in the sex scenes had previously been used as corpses? Well, it certainly doesn't make it any more wholesome! It's all quite amusing, of course, but it will indeed be interesting to see if Bradley Bell and the show's crew can pull off romantic entanglements like that without things looking extremely awkward.

Interestingly enough, the idea is for the blow-up dolls to factor more heavily into close-ups during the steamy sequences, while live stand-ins would be used for filming wide shots. But not just any stand-ins, of course. When applicable, Bradley Bell says they're aiming to use actors' real-life spouses and significant others for those moments, though they will all need to test negative for COVID-19 first, naturally.

As far as kissing scenes go, the actors won't be locking lips with any lifelike dolls, thankfully for them, but they also won't be able to kiss their co-stars under the new guidelines. (Fun fact: the writers attempted to craft stories without any libido-friendly kissing, but that wasn't working for anyone.) Instead, the actors will now be faking their way through kisses while directly in front of the camera, without any one else involved. According to Bradley Bell, the characters will look like they're wrapped up in passionate moments, but in reality, they'll just be making kissy-faces into thin air.

Though The Bold and the Beautiful did technically start filming again on Wednesday, the production was shut down again after that in order to take a few extra precautionary steps to ensure everyone's safety stays the main priority. The main issue is reportedly making sure the show is able to perform the large number of tests that will be required for all the cast and crew, as everyone will be tested often while filming is happening. The delay is only temporary, and filming is set to begin again on Tuesday, June 23.

Though everything has been reruns for a while now, The Bold and the Beautiful airs every weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Fingers crossed fans will get new episodes before the summer is over, but until we know more, be sure to keep track of all the confirmed shows coming soon with our 2020 Summer TV premiere schedule.