Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused all current TV production in Hollywood and beyond to temporarily shut down, Season 18 of American Idol has been able to continuously air new episodes these past few weeks. How? Because all the semi-final rounds of auditions were pre-taped back in Fall 2019.
The competition reality series started airing new two-hour episodes on both Sunday and Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET, but due to the dwindling number of unseen footage still in the can, American Idol will not be airing a new episode on Monday, March 30. Even though there was a new episode as usual on Sunday night, the next new episode of American Idol will not air until Sunday, April 5.
It’s a huge tease for audiences since the Top 40 was only partially narrowed down to the Top 20 on Sunday evening. While it was previously scheduled for the show’s all-star judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, to announce the rest of finalists on Monday night, viewers not must wait another week to find out the results.
Both of these Hawaii “Final Judgement” episodes were pre-taped, and after April 5, the competition reality series is planning to churn out two more new episodes on Sunday evenings. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, American Idol plans to air two extra pre-taped specials, which buys producers more time to figure out how they will proceed with the live shows amid coronavirus.
As of March 30, according to The Los Angeles Times, in Los Angeles County alone, which is where Idol films their live shows, there’s a total of 2,474 patients who’ve tested positive for coronavirus, and 44 deaths.
‘American Idol’ Sent All Of Their Season 18 Contestants Home Amid Coronavirus
American Idol returns with an all-new episode on both Sunday and Monday nights this week, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, new episodes of the popular reality competition show will soon come to an abrupt halt. On March 19, American Idol, which is produced by Fremantle North America an 19 Entertainment, announced they were shutting down rehearsals.
As reported by Billboard, much of the Idol crew was already working remotely by March 19, and as a precaution, sent all the contestants home to be with their families during these incredibly uncertain times.
After Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he was tightening the city’s precautionary methods amid coronavirus, and shutting down all non-essential businesses, American Idol had no choice but to close down production, as the live episodes were scheduled to be taped at CBS Television City, which is located in the heart of West Hollywood.
The threat of COVID-19 is being taken very seriously by Hollywood, and well before the “Safe at Home’ order was enforced, numerous scripted and reality series had already halted production. ABC series such as Grey’s Anatomy and the network’s reality show juggernaut, The Bachelorette, have postponed filming, as did their late-night series, Jimmy Kimmel Live!. ABC’s soap opera General Hospital shut down on March 16.