It's incredibly difficult nowadays to make sure that enough eyeballs are on a new series when it premieres so that it can start with a solid fan base that will, hopefully, be able to grow over time. This is part of the reason why having a proven ratings winner as a lead-in can help a new show find an audience which might not have otherwise paid much attention to such a debut. In the case of The Equalizer, CBS' new Queen Latifah drama, that lead-in was Super Bowl LV, and while it led to a big win for the show, now it's been faced with a production shutdown.
Being shown after a television event as big as the Super Bowl has been a prime spot for many series in the past, and it usually gives a boost to shows both old and brand new. This was certainly the case with The Equalizer, but, unfortunately, the show has now had to stop filming over COVID-19 concerns. According to Deadline, those behind the freshman show were made aware of a positive virus test which was produced just this Monday during the regular testing process for all cast and crew. This has led to a production shutdown, while those who were exposed to the individual have been told to quarantine.
Even though contact tracing began as soon as possible so that the production could quickly identify everyone who'd been in close contact with the person who tested positive, it's standard operating procedure now for filming to cease so that all details can be ironed out, and anyone who may have been exposed can be tested again. Right now, we don't know how many people on The Equalizer set may have been sent to self-isolate, or what particular category of employees was directly impacted.
We are also unsure of how long the shutdown will last, though, for right now, it's said it will be at least a few days as the situation is being monitored. While the production schedule is being updated to reflect the pause in filming, there's no word on whether or not it will affect when new episodes of The Equalizer will air down the line.
Considering how many people tuned in to watch the premier of The Equalizer after the Super Bowl, you can bet that a lot of people will likely be wondering about the show's schedule going forward. The Queen Latifah starrer brought in a whopping 20.4 million viewers on Sunday, which is a very high number both for a debut and any scripted show on a broadcast network, in general, nowadays.
Aside from its Super Bowl lead in, The Equalizer does have the added benefit of being a property which is already familiar to many people. It was first seen as a series on CBS in the 1980s (then starring Edward Woodward), where it lasted for four seasons, and was recently re-imagined as a film franchise starring Denzel Washington as the titular righter of wrongs for the downtrodden and hopeless.
Now, Queen Latifah has taken on the badass role of the former federal agent who's using her skills for vigilante efforts, and the show stars several other well-known faces like Chris Noth (The Good Wife), Lorriane Toussaint (Orange Is the New Black), and Adam Goldberg (Friends, Saving Private Ryan).
Hopefully, those directly impacted by this positive diagnosis are already well on their way to a full and speedy recovery, and The Equalizer can get back up and running soon. The series will be back this Sunday on CBS at its regular time of 8 p.m. EST. For more on what to watch in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our guide to winter / spring 2021 TV.