COVID-19

A soap opera leads the way into post-lockdown Hollywood

Jasmine Garsd Jun 17, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace
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Cast members of "The Bold and the Beautiful" at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival in 2017. The soap opera will resume filming but keep the cast socially distanced. Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

A soap opera leads the way into post-lockdown Hollywood

Jasmine Garsd Jun 17, 2020
Cast members of "The Bold and the Beautiful" at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival in 2017. The soap opera will resume filming but keep the cast socially distanced. Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images
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Last week, the state of California and Los Angeles County allowed filming for movies and television to resume. 

And one of the first scripted dramas to turn on the cameras will be the CBS daytime soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.” There will be restrictions in place to minimize potential spread of coronavirus; that means a lot of stony, silent glares, secret lovers and social distancing.

Like most TV shows, “The Bold and the Beautiful” ended production in mid-March because of COVID-19. Now, it’s going to start taping again, but the steamy scenes the show is known for aren’t going to be happening.  

Some actors might film intimate scenes with their real-life partners, and the show will be deploying old soap opera tricks, like panning to the fireplace during a romantic scene. 

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the chief operating officer of the screen actors union SAG-AFTRA, said everyone wants to get back to work, but safely.

“Our members are going to have to work without any kind of protective equipment,” Crabtree-Ireland said. “They’re going to have to work in close physical proximity. They won’t be able to observe physical distancing all the time.”

For weeks, he’s been discussing how to reopen with epidemiologists, including Ian Lipkin from Columbia University. Lipkin said the most important thing is going to be testing. 

“If you tested people before they join the production, and you continue to test them once a week, you can dramatically reduce the risk,” he said.

It’s key that everyone on set understand that keeping healthy is a collective responsibility, said Baruch Fischhoff, a behavioral psychologist with Carnegie Mellon University, who also helped develop Hollywood’s reopening guidelines.

“If somebody gets it wrong and there are some tragedies as part of the set, everybody will pay the price,” Fischhoff said.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

With a slow vaccine rollout so far, how has the government changed its approach?

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced changes to how the federal government is distributing vaccine doses. The CDC has expanded coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone 65 and older, along with people with conditions that might raise their risks of complications from COVID-19. The new approach also looks to reward those states that are the most efficient by giving them more doses, but critics say that won’t address underlying problems some states are having with vaccine rollout.

What kind of help can small businesses get right now?

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.

What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?

New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.

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