Due to a positive COVID test on set, NCIS will temporarily pause production. The halt comes exactly one year after last year’s widespread Hollywood shutdown.
As reported by Deadline on Wednesday (Jan. 5th), the cast and crew of NCIS will not return to the studio as planned. Originally, the series was expected to resume its production for season 19 this week.
The crime drama announced the decision after an employee tested positive for COVID in Zone A. And Deadline believes the case may be linked to a cast member.
Sister show NCIS: Los Angeles will also follow suit and push filming for season 13. However, one insider shared that the NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i crossover, which is currently filming in Hawai’i, will continue as planned. Though, with the influx of cases, they may announce a pause at a later date
Both of the CBS dramas are ahead of schedule. And there are enough episodes in the NCIS arsenals to prolong the holiday breaks. So unless NCIS or NCIS: Los Angeles continues to push production past February, the pause will not affect on-air schedules.
‘NCIS’ and Other Studios Forced to Shut Down as Omicron Infections Rise
The fairly new COVID variant has been making its way through a number of Hollywood sets this week, causing crews to re-evaluate safety protocols.
FBI also closed down to conduct contact tracing for a day after someone close to the set tested positive.
“It’s a mess,” a production source said. “People keep getting Covid.”
Because infections are becoming increasingly more common, some studios have pushed production returns out by one or two weeks. For example, Disney will not reopen until January 10th. And Amazon Studios won’t pick up until January 17th.
However, Universal Media Studios, Warner Bros. TV, CBS Studios and Netflix are committed to keeping to their original schedules. And at most, they’ve only pushed returns by two days thus far.
Over the past two weeks, the LA County Health Department has listed several outbreaks among media companies. Warner Bros. has reported 13 cases of Covid, and Sony Pictures has reported three. There have also been three separate outbreaks within Universal Studios that count for 15 total infections.
Deadline also reported that Hollywood is expecting more TV productions to shut down just as NCIS, even though most casts and crews have high vaccination rates.
All studios are monitoring the unprecedented number of breakthrough infections before they return from their holiday breaks. And they will announce if they will proceed with filming within the next couple of days.