Disney, Warner Bros and more halt TV productions in Los Angeles due to rising COVID cases

It comes after a message from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health urged the industry to "strongly consider" pausing production

Disney, Warner Bros and more have halted a host of TV productions in Los Angeles due to rising COVID-19 cases in the city.

It comes after a new message from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health last week said the industry should “strongly consider” pausing production “for a few weeks”.

“Although music, TV and film productions are allowed to operate, we ask you to strongly consider pausing work for a few weeks during this catastrophic surge in Covid cases,” the health department’s message said (via Deadline). “Identify and delay higher risk activities, and focus on lower-risk work for now, if at all possible.”


Adding that “travel for production purposes is currently not advised,” the message stated that travelling for production purposes increases virus-related risk “by making it more likely that people will end up together in vehicles or indoors in less-controlled settings”.

“Hospitals are full virtually everywhere,” the message added, asking studios and bosses to “keep cast and crew close to home”.

Will coronavirus restrictions mean more CGI in the movies? Credit: Alamy

Now, as Variety report, Warner Bros have confirmed that shows including Shameless and Netflix‘s You will not return to filming as planned from next week, instead hoping to begin production once again from the week of January 11.

Universal TV, meanwhile, has also stated that its plan is to return on January 11 following the newly-announced hiatus, but that its show Brooklyn Nine-Nine may be out of action for another week after that.

Other studios pausing production include 20th Television and ABC Signature, who have between them paused production on 16 shows.


The message from the public health department, sent on December 24, follows a surge of new coronavirus cases in Los Angeles county.

So far, there have been a total of 719,833 coronavirus cases in total in the Los Angeles area, and nearly 10,000 deaths.

Across this year, the cinema industry has been hugely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Back in October, Cineworld temporarily suspended its operations in the US and UK, putting thousands of jobs – including 5,500 in Britain – at risk.

In the US meanwhile, dozens of prominent filmmakers recently signed an open letter warning US Congress that physical cinemas face extinction as a result of the pandemic.

Back in March, as the pandemic began to spread globally, it was estimated that coronavirus could cost the film industry $20 billion (£16.3 billion).