The New Face of Television: How the Coronavirus Is Changing Everything

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the world changed dramatically in too many ways to count. No one could have predicted or even imagined the shelter-in-place orders that rapidly spread across the country (and even the world). With our daily lives dramatically altered, millions of people scrambled to find ways to fill long days of unexpected free time while trying to stay calm in the face of mounting fear and stress.

The answer for many people was to lose themselves in the fictional world of television. TVs all over America suddenly got some pretty intense workouts as millions of viewers tuned in to watch all their favorite shows — but they didn’t stop there. The magic of digital streaming also gave them an opportunity to check out all the movies and TV shows they had missed over the years.

But while digital streaming (as a whole) expanded during this time, the shutdowns weren’t beneficial to networks and production studios that hadn’t finished filming their current seasons or were preparing to start filming their next seasons. Restrictions forced production companies to shut down, stemming the flow of new content.

From TV seasons cut abruptly short to previously live productions filmed entirely from stars’ homes, the TV production world experienced some significant adjustments to make it through the spring. As the world starts to reopen, one key question on viewers’ minds is what to expect from TV moving forward. Will TV productions return to business as usual by the fall, or will all the frantic changes become the new normal? Let’s take a look at what has happened so far and what the new face of television could look like moving forward.