EXCLUSIVE: Universal Television has delayed production on three series, Season 2 on Russian Doll, starring Natasha Lyonne, for Netflix, Season 2 of anthology Little America for Apple and Season 1 of Rutherford Falls, headlined by Ed Helms, for Peacock, I have learned.
I hear all of the shows were yet to start filming and had no firm delivery dates, giving the studio some wiggle room as it navigates the fast spreading coronavirus outbreak. Writing and casting for the three comedies continues, and production on all of the studio’s current series and pilots is going on as planned for now.
Over the past two days, two TV sets were impacted by the pandemic. It was revealed on Tuesday that a crew member on the Fox drama series NeXt in Chicago tested positive for the coronavirus. While the series had wrapped last week, the person had started showing symptoms before and had come in contact with other people on set. Yesterday, the CW’s Riverdale suspended production in Vancouver amid concerns that a person working on the show was recently in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, Tom Hanks and his wife caught the virus while he was working on the Elvis Presley movie in Australia.
I hear factoring into the decision to postpone production on Russian Doll, Little America and Rutherford Falls was the fact the majority of the shows require international travel for their upcoming storylines. I hear crews were notified of the delay yesterday, before President Trump unveiled travel restrictions from Europe Wednesday night.
Also yesterday CBS announced that it is delaying start of production for the upcoming Season 41 of Survivor, which is slated to film in Fiji. The network also has paused production on its globetrotting reality competition The Amazing Race. Both moves were a response to the global coronavirus outbreak, which was calcified as global pandemic by the World Health Organization yesterday.
Like all of its Hollywood counterparts, Uni TV is evaluating decisions how to proceed with its shows in partnership with health and government officials.
Russian Doll, created and executive produced by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland, devoted its first season to the experience of a young woman named Nadia, played by Lyonne. She repeatedly dies during a New York party that seems never to end thanks to an edgy, mordant update of Groundhog Day‘s premise. The series is produced by Universal Television, Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions, JAX Media and 3 Arts Entertainment.
Inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, Little America goes beyond the headlines to bring to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt and surprising stories of immigrants in America. The Uni TV series is written and executive produced by Lee Eisenberg, who serves as showrunner, and executive produced by Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon, Alan Yang, Sian Heder, Joshuah Bearman, Joshua Davis and Arthur Spector. Heder also serves as co-showrunner alongside Eisenberg.
Co-created/executive produced by Ed Helms, Michael Schur and Sierra Teller Ornelas, Rutherford Falls is set at a small town in upstate New York, which is turned upside down when local legend and town namesake, Nathan Rutherford (Helms) fights the moving of a historical statue. David Miner and Mike Falbo also executive produce for Uni TV, Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment and Pacific Electric Picture Company.