Skip to main content

What Comes Next: Five ways TV will be different post-quarantine

In our series “What Comes Next,” Riley Winn takes a look beyond the current state of COVID-19, and looks ahead at the next steps for businesses as we move into the next phase of reopening. On this episode, he takes a look at the effect the coronavirus and subsequent shutdowns have had on the production of new shows, and the changes they’ll have to make when productions start filming again.

Watching TV has been one of the most solid and consistent forms of entertainment during quarantine. However, since productions are either on hold, in limbo, or struggling to find a way to restart, new episodes and new shows won’t be coming any time soon. Because creating television and movies requires so many of the activities that need to be avoided to stop the spread of COVID-19 — large groups of people interacting in tight spaces, and crews flying all around the world to work on different sets — getting the entertainment industry back on its feet will prove to be challenging.

In order to make this happen, there are five things that TV will change post-pandemic.

No extras

Putting 20-50 extras in a scene to flesh out a realistic environment won’t be happening any time soon. One way around that is adding digital characters into scenes, but the costs to do that require the same budgets as gigantic Hollywood movies. Green screens could be used, but that only works if they already have crowd scenes filmed. For the time being, the production value we’re used to seeing on TV may be the sacrifice producers will make to put out more episodes.

More talking, less doing

When series come back, you’ll most likely be seeing fewer action and crowd scenes to reduce the number of people involved in a storyline. This both saves money, but also makes it easier to follow social distancing and lessening the number of people on set at any given time. Traditionally, movies and TV shows try to “show, don’t tell” when it comes to character and world building, but post-quarantine Hollywood will feature more scenes of two actors talking, and smaller-scale action scenes shot on controlled sets.

More bottle episodes

A “bottle episode” of a television program refers to an episode that usually takes place in one place with few characters. Showrunners typically use bottle episodes to save production money for more expensive and elaborate set pieces during the season. When your favorite show comes back next season, there’s a possibility that we’ll be seeing a lot more of these bottle episodes.

Writing and acting

While production on new episodes is halted, writers are still hard at work creating the scripts. Many writers’ rooms have been meeting virtually to hash out ideas and storylines. However this makes scripts more rigid, and writers can’t make on-the-fly changes when scenes aren’t working. Additionally, flying actors to certain locations may be put on hold, and showrunners could turn to local talent instead.

Shorter seasons

We’re used to seeing a show’s season last up to 20 or 25 episodes, but that may change. Not only are there myriad production challenges to face in order to keep environment and people safe, but fewer episodes means that production budgets can be utilized to digitally insert extras or locations, or to build new sets for limited crews.

Currently, production houses are scrambling to find ways to put out new content safely. While we may not be sure exactly what we’ll be getting come the fall season, rest assured there will be more content being created. But just like everything else post-COVID, it too will look different.

Watch other episodes to see how tech is helping keep us safe at: 

Editors' Recommendations

Todd Werkhoven
Todd Werkhoven's work can be read at numerous publications and he co-authored a personal finance book called "Zombie…
The best Black Friday air fryer deals for 2022
Best Black Friday Air Fryer Deals

Though Black Friday's over for another year, you'll still find plenty of Black Friday deals out there. If you're in the market for an air fryer, we don't blame you. It's the kitchen gadget that no one can stop talking about. After all, what other device can whip up a perfect crunchy batch of fries or delicious fried chicken while using minimal energy and providing healthier results? Big retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon have plenty of Black Friday air fryer deals on right now, so how do you know where to start? Below, we've picked some of the best available deals from brands like Bell, Insignia, Ninja, and many more, so keep reading to find your new air fryer for less.
Best Black Friday air fryer deals under $100
Bella Pro Series 2-quart Analog Air Fryer -- $20, was $45

If you're still tentative about air fryers, it's hard to go wrong buying the Bella Pro Series 2-quart Analog Air Fryer. This simple-to-use air fryer doesn't boast a stainless steel case or perform multiple functions, but it does the main job creating crispy, healthy, good-tasting snacks and appetizers. No preheating time means you're ready to cook faster than a conventional oven, and dishwasher-safe components makes cleanup quick and easy. The small Bella Pro Series air fryer is one of the best air fryer deals, priced to attract new cooks to the category.

Read more
AirPods Black Friday deals: Save on AirPods Pro and Max
Best Black Friday AirPods Deals

Black Friday may have been and gone for another year, but the best Black Friday deals are still around. Below, we've picked out all the best AirPods Black Friday deals so you can save big on some of the most popular earphones and headphones around. Whether you're looking to buy some cheap AirPods or you want to go all-in and buy the high-end but luxurious AirPods Max, there's sure to be a great deal for you here. These are just some of the best Apple Black Friday deals around with plenty more options out there. Keep reading while we take you through them all.

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more