The Voice is set to return later this month for Season 19, which will be the show's second season in 2020 that has had to deal with production limitations and guidelines related to COVID-19. Executive producer Audrey Morrissey and crew are much more prepared for issues in the second go-around, and even have measures in place should a shutdown happen all over again, just in case.
CinemaBlend and other outlets were part of a "first look" at Season 19 of The Voice and a Q&A with Audrey Morrissey as well as Season 18 winner Todd Tilghman. During the Q&A, Morrissey spoke about the show's current measures in place to ensure safety during COVID-19, as well as how as they improved their own processes should Season 19 be faced with a production shutdown similar to last season. She said:
Hopefully, that won't happen. But if it did we definitely learned a lot about the workflow and the kind of equipment we'd need, and we definitely revised our process of how we dealt with [performances] remotely. For how we're dealing with [the situation] right now? It's going really well. And so much of it is about preparing. For instance, when we did the blind episodes we had to really think, 'Wow, we only have four days to shoot this. There's so much money being spent on this. Who are the key people that if they got sick we'd have to replace them immediately?'
Audrey Morrissey and The Voice team had to work fast under the new guidelines to efficiently run Season 19 but simultaneously self-evaluated their own practices for any problems that may arise along the way. Part of that process included making sure contestants felt safe enough to audition in the studio, which meant fans and families were nixed from the studio. They'll still be seen on digital screens throughout the season, but as of writing, Morrissey said The Voice has "no definite plans" to bring in a live audience in Season 19.
With so many hurdles to jump and problems to figure out along the way, it wouldn't have been altogether surprising if the powers that be decided The Voice Season 19 would've been better off as a 2021 release. In response to a question from CinemaBlend, Audrey Morrissey shared her thoughts on delaying the season after Season 18's conclusion, and whether it was an option she pursued.
Not in my mind, and I don't think in many people's minds. You just have to sort of manifest things and keep positive and just know that where there's a will, there's a way, and we'd figure it out. Could that have happened, or could we have needed to push [the premiere] dramatically? I guess that was a possibility...There was no time that I was ever talking with at NBC about skipping a season or pushing it.
In what could be described as the classic showbiz attitude, Audrey Morrissey and The Voice decided that the show must go on. Season 19 will look different than seasons past, but with all the crew has learned and prepared for after Season 18, the result will likely make for a smoother season in which contestants and coaches are as safe as possible.
The Voice Season 19 premieres on NBC Monday, October 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest happening this season, and for more news happening in television and movies.