As the first major Los Angeles area wildfire this fall broke out Thursday night, claiming homes, shutting down major freeways and prompting evacuations, it also impacted production on several TV series in the affected areas of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.
Production on ABC/20th TV sophomore comedy series Bless This Mess, which shoots at Santa Clarita’s Sable Ranch, was suspended due to the Saddleridge fire, as was production on freshman NBC/20th TV comedy Perfect Harmony, which films in Chatsworth.
Sable Ranch, near the Angeles National Forest, had previously been damaged in July 2016 during the Sand fire. It had been used for countless films and series, from TV’s Maverick to The A-Team and 24 among others.
Also shut down for the day was filming on veteran CBS/CBS Studios drama NCIS, CBS/Sony/CBS Studios’ S.W.A.T, and the upcoming Paramount Network/CBS Studios series 68 Whiskey.
Freeform’s Good Trouble and Sony TV-produced Party of Five reboot, both of which also film in Santa Clarita, were shut down for the day, along with Spectrum Originals/Sony TV’s L.A.’s Finest.
Other smaller productions were able to shoot as scheduled today, according to a Santa Clarita Film Office official. For that area, most of the shutdowns were due less to fire danger than the ability to travel to production locations. Large portions of the 5, 210 and 118 freeways — all major arteries into and out of the northern San Fernando Valley — have been closed, with officials advising against travel north of the city. The road closures and mandatory evacuations impacted virtually every show in production in Los Angeles today as it was difficult for many to go to work.
In Canoga Park, meanwhile, production was canceled for the day on NBC/Uni TV’s comedy Sunnyside and the Amazon/Uni TV pilot On the Spectrum. Both had been scheduled to be shooting in the area in the western San Fernando Valley, the direction the fire, now at 7,500 acres burned, was headed this afternoon.
Additionally, Showtime/Fox21’s Homeland has switched filming location at the last minute to avoid the affected area.
FilmLA, the permitting office for the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, reported no production shutdowns today in its jurisdiction.
Fueled by fierce Santa Ana winds, the Saddleridge fire is 13% contained, while all mandatory evacuations remain in place, as do the red-flag warnings. It is the largest of several active wildfires in the region stretching from Riverside to Ventura counties.