Following the months-long lockdown brought on by the global health crisis, many TV shows are now returning to the studio to film. Things will look quite different, however, as producers are installing new safety practices to ensure the well-being of cast, crew and audience members. Game shows arguably have a particularly difficult task given their interactive and contestant-driven nature. This is something Weakest Link host and executive producer Jane Lynch and her colleagues have considered as the new show enters production.
While speaking about her work on the 2020 Weakest Link reboot, Jane Lynch explained that the show has put various new policies into effect such as practicing proper distancing and wearing the appropriate masks. She’s also feeling good when it comes to her interactions with contestants:
We have these COVID standards and precautions that are followed to the letter. There are markings all over the studio, the entrance to the building, even to get into the lot. We are protected, wearing N-95s and shields. To shoot it, what's so wonderful about Weakest Link is that it's an expansive set anyway. We did put a little more distance between the contestants and me, so we're nowhere near each other.
Jane Lynch definitely sounded enthusiastic about the effectiveness of these methods while speaking with TV Insider. Elements like distance markers and shields are key for a show of this nature, and it’s good to see that these kinds of measures are being implemented.
Weakest Link isn’t the only game show that’s taken steps to adapt to the times, as Steve Harvey’s Family Feud has also had to make an adjustment or two. The producers of that show are requiring crew to wear protective gear, use masks and undergo regular temperature checks. And while it’s not exactly a game show, America’s Got Talent has also made significant changes to continue production for this past season.
It’s been interesting (and encouraging) to see just how seriously producers and networks are taking our current situation. Whether it be multi-camera comedies or talk shows, TV seems to be finding ways to safely carry on in the era of COVID-19. Even Saturday Night Live, which will restart its new season with a studio audience, has put detailed guidelines in place for potential attendees. This includes on-site COVID-19 testing, temperature checks and answering a serious of questions used to gauge their susceptibility to the virus.
There’s no telling how long this will be the norm for TV shows, but it would appear that many are ready for the long haul should things remain the same. One thing that can certainly be said though is that when it comes to the level of safety precautions, no one wants to be the figurative “weakest link.”
Weakest Link makes its debut tonight, Tuesday September 29 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.