The global coronavirus pandemic is already having a major impact on the Australian entertainment industry.
Television shows have been forced to suspend filming, audiences are being banned from studios and even sport has been affected.
With production shutdowns and lay-offs growing by the day, the television schedule is going to look very different this year.
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How coronavirus could DESTROY the Australian TV industry: Production shutdowns and lay-offs mean the 2020 schedule will look very different. Pictured: Seven’s Sunrise
Coronavirus has impacted different types of programs in different ways.
Popular entertainment shows are facing an uncertain future while news coverage is rating through the roof due to the overwhelming public interest in COVID-19.
For example, Seven News drew more than a million viewers for its special report on the pandemic on Sunday night.
Former Channel 10 executive Robert McKnight spoke about the future of the industry on his podcast TV Blackbox on Tuesday.
He noted that major productions like The Bachelor, Big Brother and The Block are going ahead as scheduled for now, but he believes it’s time for them to shut down.
In demand: News has become ratings gold during these trying times, especially COVID-19 specials and related updates
‘Lives are at risk and this is more important than ratings and television shows’: Former TV executive and editor of industry website TV Blackbox, Rob McKnight (pictured), spoke about entertainment changes on Tuesday’s edition of the TV Blackbox podcast
Production for everything outside of news has been shut down in the US, but Australian productions like The Bachelor, Big Brother and The Block are pressing on with filming. Pictured: 2020 Bachelor Locky Gilbert
‘The networks need to understand lives are at risk and this is more important than ratings and television shows,’ McKnight said.
‘We need to stop producing these shows and wait until we get the all clear and resume,’ he said.
Steve Molk, who runs MolksTVTalk.com, also gave his overview of 2020, including which shows will air and which have been postponed due to the health crisis.
Molk said Nine was in a good position because many of its top rating programs have already wrapped filming or are going ahead as planned.
Lego Masters and Travel Guides have been filmed and are ready to be aired.
Australian Ninja Warrior is nearing the end of its filming schedule. However, the live audience has been limited to just the contestants’ family and close friends.
Going ahead: Australian Ninja Warrior is nearing the end of its filming schedule with a reduced audience of the contestants’ close family and friends only
Lineup change? Despite the blind rounds being filmed already, strict travel conditions around the world could see judges Boy George and Kelly Rowland replaced on the panel. Pictured: Boy George, Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian and Kelly Rowland
The Voice has already filmed its blind auditions but is yet to start the live episodes.
Molk said that international travel restrictions could result in host Renee Bargh and coaches Boy George and Kelly Rowland being replaced.
Nine News boss Darren Wick also spoke on the podcast about the network’s response to coronavirus.
In order to minimise staff in the newsroom and reduce burnout, ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams are working in rotating shifts.
Wick also addressed the decision to continue production of The Block in Melbourne.
‘They are all there. They’re all on site. They are self contained and self isolating as a group, so that will go ahead,’ he said.
‘They’re all on site. They are self contained and self isolating as a group, so that will go ahead’: Nine News boss Darren Wick also appeared on the podcast on Tuesday, where he said The Block was continuing with filming
Seven’s long-running soap Home and Away halted production this week.
Big Brother temporarily suspended filming when a crew member feared they had contracted the disease. They have since tested negative and production resumed this week.
New formats SAS: Who Dares Wins and Holey Moley have been suspended until further notice. They were being filmed overseas.
The new season of House Rules will start soon, with advertisements already promoting its April debut.
Seven and Nine weekend schedules will also be affected by sporting matches not being aired as the AFL and NRL suspend play.
Seven’s long-running soap Home and Away shut down its production this week
Pressing on! Big Brother Australia temporarily suspended filming when a crew member feared they had contracted the disease. They have since tested negative, with production allegedly continuing after they were given the all-clear
Ten already have a few shows filmed and ready to be aired on the network, including Bachelor In Paradise, Secret She Keeps and How To Stay Married.
While the The Bachelor with Locky Gilbert is currently filming, it’s uncertain if government updates on social distancing will force the show to suspend production.
The Amazing Race was initially scaled down to a domestic version, but with state borders closing, Steve claimed the show is very much in limbo.
Travel troubles: The Amazing Race was initially scaled down to a domestic version, but with state borders closing, Steve claimed the show is very much in limbo
No more: Ten have also suspended Five Bedrooms and cancelled the new Survivor (pictured, host Jonathan LaPaglia), which was due to air later this year
Despite the first few weeks of the show ready to be aired, MasterChef is still in production and could face delays or alterations to its anticipated schedule.
Ten have also suspended Five Bedrooms and cancelled the new Survivor, which was due to air later this year.
Shows already filmed and ready to be aired on the network are Bachelor In Paradise, Secret She Keeps and How To Stay Married.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Seven, Nine and Ten for comment.
Coming soon! Shows already filmed and ready to be aired on the network are Bachelor In Paradise (pictured), Secret She Keeps and How To Stay Married.
On Tuesday night, after the podcast was published, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced stricter social-distancing guidelines and state border closures.
He restricted social gatherings to ten people, put a blanket ban on overseas travel and ordered more workplaces to close in his latest measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Australia recorded 2,317 confirmed coronavirus cased on Wednesday morning, with a death toll of eight.
Pandemic: In Australia, as of Wednesday March 25, there were 2,317 reported cases of coronavirus, including eight deaths
AUSTRALIA’S NEW RESTRICTIONS
The government is looking to limit interactions between groups, particularly any event or gathering with 10 or more people.
The new restrictions, from 11.59pm on March 25, mean:
* Food courts in shopping centres will only be available for takeaway food. No sitting.
* Auction houses will shut. Auctions and open house inspections are banned.
* Outdoor and indoor markets are banned while rules around major food markets will be addressed by states and territories.
* Personal services such as beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours (but not physiotherapy) are banned.
* Hairdressers and barbers can continue but must strictly manage social distancing and restrict the amount of time a patron can be in the premises to no more than 30 minutes.
* Amusement parks and arcades, and indoor and outdoor play centres must close.
* Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people and enforce social distancing.
* Social sports such as large groups of people playing soccer in a park are banned.
* Galleries, museums, libraries, youth centres, community halls, clubs, RSLs and swimming pools must close.
* Weddings can continue to be conducted where it is just the couple the celebrant and two witnesses, no more than five people.
* Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people.
* It is safe to send children to school up to the end of the term.
* But some pupil-free days will be needed to plan distance learning.
* Schools will reopen after the term break with a mix of distance learning and in-school learning for all “essential workers”.
* PM to meet with teachers and other sector representatives about keeping schools open and protecting staff.
* Everyone who still has a job is an essential worker.
* The official “do no travel” warning is now an outright ban on overseas travel, with some exceptions such as aid workers and compassionate travel. Exact time for ban to start yet to be set.
* New offence of profiteering and seeking to export goods overseas, relating to such things as medical supplies and masks.