Deadline reports that according to sources working on the hugely popular network shows, production has been paused after a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the new Omicron variant. It's believed that those affected are now self-isolating in line with current government guidelines.
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On NCIS, which is due to shoot a crossover episode with spinoff NCIS: Hawai'i next week, a cast member has tested positive, causing uncertainty whether the much-anticipated crossover will happen. The publication reports that "plans are all in flux amid the unprecedented infection rates" and that some insiders have suggested that the CBS show could potentially not resume filming for weeks.
The other NCIS spinoff, NCIS: Los Angeles, will reportedly not resume filming until February as a precautionary measure. The LL Cool J-led series has enough episodes filmed and ready to air to allow it to take a long break without affecting the season's run.
The outbreak could wreak havoc on the plans to shoot a NCIS crossover episode
Meanwhile, filming for NBC's Chicago Fire has also ground to a halt after multiple members of cast and crew tested positive for the new variant. The firefighter drama had only just resumed filming after the holiday break on Wednesday when the order came to shut down production.
Chicago Fire was forced to shut down production on Wednesday too
As per Deadline, production - which takes place on location in Chicago - will hopefully be back up and running by early next week. It's believed that sister shows Chicago PD and Chicago Med are not affected.
Over at ABC, at least three Los Angeles-based dramas, including Grey's Anatomy, Station 19 and The Rookie, have delayed the restart of production after the holidays as a result of highly infectious Omicron varient. While Grey's and spinoff Station 19 are expected to resume production on 12 January, it's not known when The Rookie will start up again.
"Further production delays and shutdowns across Hollywood TV production are expected even with most casts and crews fully vaccinated as the Omicron variant has been causing an unprecedented number of breakthrough infections," the publication reports. "Studios are currently monitoring the situation and awaiting more testing data before making decisions on how to proceed."
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