More U.S. series have started filming in Vancouver with COVID-19 protocols amid the pandemic.
ABC/Sony TV’s The Good Doctor, which helped pave the way to an agreement between Hollywood studios and the British Columbia unions, started production on its fourth season today, I have learned.
Disney+/ABC Signature’s The Mighty Ducks, whose production was halted in March because of the pandemic, resumed filming Tuesday, I hear. ABC/A+E Studios’s Big Sky began filming Thursday; ABC/Kapital/ABC Signature’s A Million Little Things has been shooting since Sunday; and Hulu/Sonar/20th TV’s The Mysterious Benedict Society also kicked off filming last week, sources said.
Netflix’s Midnight Mass and the CW/Warner Bros. TV’s Supernatural were believed to be the first U.S. series to start production in Vancouver following the coronavirus-related five-month break. Supernatural, which had two remaining episodes of its final season to shoot, is set to wrap production September 8. The CW/WBTV’s Batwoman is slated to begin filming its second season with new lead Javicia Leslie this Thursday, with the CW/WBTV’s Riverdale on track for a mid-September production start.
Netflix/Legendary TV’s Lost in Space also is slated to start production in September, with the new NBC/Legendary TV drama Debris set for an October start. Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem and NBC/Lionsgate TV’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and Dinsey+/20th TV’s Turner & Hooch, Syfy/UCP’s Resident Alien, Netflix/WBTV’s The Maid also are believed in final preparation stages.
A dispute over testing shut down The Good Doctor‘s pre-production on July 31. We reported at the time that cast members questioned why the local protocols — testing actors twice a week, crew members in close interaction with them once a week and no testing for the rest of the crew — did not fulfill the safety requirements set by SAG-AFTRA. The U.S. guild got involved, threatening to withhold services in British Columbia. Caught in the middle, the studio backed the actors, leading to the standoff with the BC Council of Film Unions.
The impasse between Hollywood studios, which insisted on rigorous testing according to the current SAG-AFTRA guidelines in the U.S., and the British Columbia unions, which pushed back and called for far more limited testing of the crews they represent, lasted for a couple of weeks until the studios and local unions started reaching agreements on individual shows in mid-August.
One of the first to get a green light was The Good Doctor, after its lead studio Sony Pictures TV made a deal with the BC Council of Film Unions, made up of IATSE, Teamsters and International Cinematographers Guild locals, and various actors’ unions.