Studios Restart Production in Los Angeles Amid COVID-19 Surge

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Bryn Sandberg on January 13, 2021.

As Los Angeles’s public health officials are calling the city’s current COVID-19 surge — in which 10 people are testing positive for the virus every minute — the “worst disaster our county has experienced in decades,” Hollywood’s top studios have begun their return to production in L.A.

The industry had paused much of its Los Angeles-based filming around the holidays and into the early part of January when it became clear a surge was underway, following recommendations from the Los Angeles County Department of Health and multiple unions, including SAG-AFTRA and the Producers Guild. Disney, Warner Bros. Universal, CBS and Netflix all pushed their post-holiday filming schedules back, with the aim to start shooting again mid-January (some were targeting Jan. 11, while others were and still are eyeing Jan. 18 as a return.)

Now, a handful of those projects are said to be getting back up and running this week. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that many of the titles that had planned a return to filming are doing so. Productions starting up include CBS’ All Rise and Bob Hearts Abishola, Showtime’s Shameless and Netflix’s You, which are all produced by Warner Bros. Also resuming is ABC’s The Goldbergs and Netflix’s Atypical, both produced by Sony, as well as five scripted series from CBS Studios: NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Why Women Kill, SEAL Team and Diary of a Future President. …

THR 1/13

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at