The coronavirus epidemic has disrupted many sector, including filmmaking – and we covered that extensively in another blog. Since then, a number of TV series premieres have been postponed due to the coronavirus situation. And although the situation seems to be improving in Europe, it will be some time until production can safely resume. But why have TV shows been postponed, you may ask? While feature films depend on cinema releases in order to be successful and reach their entire target audience, TV shows are meant to be watched at home… and what better time for that than now? However, the question is how far into the production process these new seasons were – even if filming is already finished, there’s a host of other things to do, and it’s not exactly easy to get them done over a Zoom meeting or Slack messaging. Quite a few were so very close to the finish line, and corona came just a few weeks to early. Otherwise, they would be basking under lockdown viewership glory right about now.
Fargo, Season 4
Since Fargo is one of my all-time favourite series (let’s face it, each season so far beats the movie, which itself is a masterpiece), the release date of 19th of April had been in my calendar for months. The new season is set in the 1950s, and features an ever-escalating conflict between the Italian and African-American mobs from Kansas City. Sadly, it was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus situation, since post-production was not quite finished. I don’t know about you, but it would have made my quarantine much more bareable.
Stranger Things, Season 4
Although the newest season that definitely will not feature Jim Hopper anymore was not quite as close to release as Fargo, it was still pretty far in the making. Not only did work on Stranger Things come to a complete halt, but all other Netflix series currently in production in the US or Canada got temporarily postponed after Trump declared a state of emergency. Netflix employees in California were asked to work from home, but the bulk of production work cannot be efficiently done like this, hence the delay.
Peaky Blinders, Season 6
No matter how determined and proactive Tommy Shelby is, even he cannot keep going during coronavirus times. After months of intense work, production of the new season for the acclaimed British series had to stop as well. Director/photographer Anthony Byrne instead gave the following recommendations to fans of the show: “Read that book that’s been staring at you for years. Write a poem, script, novel. Listen to music. Watch movies. Be creative. Make art. Share. Find the positive in all of this and use it. We will be better for it in the long run.” Those are wise words I will certainly act upon.
EastEnders has been around since 1985, but its longevity means nothing – the production of new material has also been affected. It’s still airing, but the release of new episodes has been spaced out – with Thursday and Friday releases no longer happening for the forseeable future. This new airing format was not properly announced, with many fans confused when they sat in front of their TVs, only to see a wholly different show roll on their screens instead.
Fun fact: I was trying to check approximately which episode number we’re talking about, but the EastEnders episodes IMDb page crashed. With 7774 episodes to date, I cannot blame such a list for not loading properly.