Just when it seemed like the current upswing in TV productions might go largely unabated, real life reminded everyone that 2020 is all about abating things. With a handful of COVID-related issues cropping up in Hollywood proper, The Flash and some of its fellow Arrowverse and CW dramas are now facing further production delays in Vancouver.
A wide variety of TV shows are in various stages of delays across Vancouver due to unexpected issues securing COVID test results. The Flash, which was scheduled to start filming Season 7 episodes this week, is now having to push its start date back. The same goes for Legends of Tomorrow, which is gearing up for Season 6, and Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl, which will now be ending with the upcoming Season 6. It’s unclear what the plan will be to get filming officially underway, but it will hopefully happen in the near future.
Similar to the setbacks that kept shows from restarting productions back in August, the larger overall issue here isn’t tied to a new spread of positive COVID cases (thankfully), but rather a lack of speedy test results. According to Deadline, the local lab doing the testing for the Vancouver productions has so far failed to meet its proposed deadlines in sending back updates, with casts and crews waiting upwards of 72 hours to get back test results. The widespread holdup factors into the rise in COVID cases across British Columbia, and it’s said that local labs have been prioritizing test results for citizens over those of commercial businesses.
Beyond that, it’s also being reported that there may some kind of test shortage, which would obviously hinder forward progress even more. And because there are multiple variables at play here, it truly is a wait-and-see situation for all the producers, casts and crews. Without any concrete answers or immediate testing set-ups to work with, studios were basically forced to shut things down anew while waiting to see what happens next.
Other than The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, some of the other TV shows that have stagnated productions in recent days include Batwoman Season 2, Riverdale Season 5, Charmed Season 3, A Million Little Things Season 3 (for ABC), The Mighty Ducks Season 1 (for Disney+) and Maid Season 1 (for Netflix). No word on what the situation is for the newest Arrowverse drama Superman & Lois, which is said to be building its sets in Cloverdale, BC. Meanwhile, Black Lightning films in Georgia, so this isn’t a situation affecting that production at this point.
Allegedly, the plan is to implement an uptick in testing capacities so that these kinds of delays won’t be an issue in the future. But considering it’s been a problem since August – which partially led to a testing tête-à-tête over The Good Doctor’s pre-production halt in July – it’s impossible to know for sure if and when these delays will be eradicated.
For now, it looks like these delays won’t necessarily affect the studios’ plans for future premieres, with everything listed above set for general 2021 debuts. It’s going to be a long fall without any Arrowverse shows to watch, especially after DC FanDome got us hyped about all the new seasons. But hopefully if everyone can stay safe and healthy, new episodes of The Flash and more will get here before we know it.