This is definitely not a good week to be a General Hospital fan. First, reports began surfacing that Luke Spencer is really dead, and that Anthony Geary wouldn’t be returning to the canvas. (Insert Genie Francis gasp here.) Now, the latest news reports reveal a production delay with the show thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, what’s going on? What does this mean for new episodes of the show?
‘General Hospital’ has delayed production into the new year
On Jan. 5, General Hospital announced that it will not begin production of new shows until sometime next week. This, however, is subject to change based on continued COVID-19 outbreaks. Production was shut down thanks to the so-called omicron variant of the virus, which is deemed to be highly contagious.
According to Deadline, as of right now, new shows should be airing as normal, and there aren’t any anticipated delays in airing new episodes. What’s more, production has made clear that this move was made “out of an abundance of caution” and not due to any outbreaks of the disease on the set. We will keep you updated, of course, if anything changes.
As of this writing, General Hospital is the only soap opera to announce such a delay. The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless, and Days of Our Lives are still taping new episodes on their normal production schedule. However, the soap’s respective networks have made clear that they will consider delays on a “case by case” basis.
It’s not the only show to do so
While this is certainly disappointing for General Hospital fans, it’s not the only ABC show to have a production delay due to the omicron variant of COVID-19. TVLine reports that other popular ABC shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, and The Rookie have also delayed production. But executives also made clear that their schedules aren’t due to be negatively impacted, either.
Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 will resume production on Jan. 12. Originally, they were set to renew production on Jan. 10. However, it’s unclear when The Rookie will resume production, and ABC Signature — which produces the shows — declined to comment about the shutdown.
So far, there has been no comment from General Hospital staff, cast, or crew about the shutdown. However, this isn’t the first time that the show halted production due to COVID-19.
‘GH’ shut down production in March 2020
Fans of General Hospital will recall that in March 2020, the soap opera shut down production of the show due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eventually, ABC ran out of new episodes of the soap opera to air, and from April 3 to May 22, the show aired “Flashback Friday” episodes on Fridays. Each “Flashback Friday” episode had a different cast member introducing the show. Fortunately, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this time around.
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