Fans who'd been waiting patiently to be able to watch Michael Weatherly do his job as Dr. Jason Bull on the CBS hit Bull, got quite the surprise with the Season 5 premiere. Not only where there musical numbers during the hour, which featured the characters dealing with the pandemic, but the final performance actually broke the fourth wall and had the actors lip-syncing right to the camera as we traveled around the set. With the very real world coming into play so prominently during the premiere, we're now hearing about how Weatherly and the rest of the cast felt about getting back to work.
The premiere of Bull Season 5, made no bones about what's going on in real life right now. While it looked at first as though Bull was simply coping by imagining a series of musical numbers, it turned out that he was actually suffering from the virus himself, and had hallucinated the events of the episode. So, how did Weatherly and his cast mates feel about going back to work? Bull's executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron told CBS Local:
It was a little intimidating, but a little bit exhilarating. People who have seen the episode know how it ends and it ends with the cast reaching out to the audience saying we’re so happy to be here and so happy that we’re still able to do this. That’s how we authentically felt. There was a period in May, June and July where we thought are we ever coming back. Between that and the idea that people lost friends and relatives, there was a lot of reason to celebrate that we were able to go back to work.
The casts and of many different shows have been talking about how they've had to prepare differently to begin filming on new seasons, and saying thanks to the fans for being patient and showing support during the extended wait (and truncated previous seasons, in many cases). But, Bull definitely took that a few steps further by putting it all in the episode. When the camera first pulled back to show off the set, you could see the crew working in their PPE (masks / face shields) and staying distant. Plus, the last bit of the performance saw Weatherly tell the audience directly that they were glad to be back at work.
I can imagine that everyone was nervous about heading back to the studio to begin filming again, especially with the number of precautions now being taken on a very frequent basis, and the amount of new guidelines in place to try and keep everyone healthy. But, because of how suddenly many shows had to stop working on the 2019-2020 season, and that unexpectedly long break, there would have also been some understandable excitement when it came time to return to work.
In fact, if you missed the moment that Glenn Gordon Caron is talking about (or just want to revisit it), take a look:
I have to admit, it looks like this was kinda fun to do. With several shows, like Grey's Anatomy, All Rise, and Law & Order: SVU working our current health crisis into their stories, Gordon Caron also admitted that he couldn't help but think about how to put our real fears into Bull, and said of the premiere:
It really reflected my thinking. I was asked by the network if I was going to work COVID into the show. As it became clear that it was going to drag on for an extended period of time, you start thinking about things like will I be able to go back to work, will I be able to keep my family safe and will I recognize the world out there. Those were all the things that were going on in my mind and I looked to turn them into a story. That’s why I relate to Bull because he is very much an instinctive guy as a character. Michael really dug it and we had an enormous amount of fun.
Bull and several of CBS' other hit shows will have shortened seasons for 2020-2021, but we still have plenty of new episodes left to see how Michael Weatherly's trial scientist and his cohorts continue to deal with their new working conditions. Bull airs Mondays at 10 p.m. EST on CBS, but for more to watch, check out our fall TV premiere guide!