New Amsterdam was originally scheduled to air a new episode on Tuesday, March 31. The episode was supposed to tell the story of a deadly flu epidemic in New York City; however, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, NBC made the decision to pull the episode. A rerun will air in its place.
In an essay written for Deadline, New Amsterdam showrunner David Schulner expounded on their reasoning for pulling the episode, saying “the world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts.” Later, he added “We shot a fictional pandemic episode right before a real pandemic hit. People are dying in real life. Do we really want to watch fake people die too?”
Schulner’s essay included a description of the episode, which he said will air at a later, more appropriate date: “David wrote the episode in 2019 about a flu pandemic overtaking our fictional hospital in New York. During a bad year, influenza can kill up to 80,000 Americans. We wanted to get this message out. And the best way to do that was to scare you so bad you’d be washing your hands during the commercial breaks. We showed what happens when our hospital has to erect tents in the parking lot because every bed is taken. When the doctors and nurses and medical techs have been working back to back shifts because their replacements are sick. When panic sets in. When people are quarantined. When people die.”
In place of the pulled episode, NBC will instead air a rerun of a previously-aired New Amsterdam episode, in the show’s new Tuesday night 9/8c timeslot. The description of the episode, entitled “Righteous Right Hand,” reads “When a group of women on a retreat end up in the ED, Max gets some troubling information that could put a patient in jeopardy; Sharpe and Kapoor work together to mend fences between two feuding sisters.”
‘New Amsterdam’ Cast & Crew Members, Including Daniel Dae Kim, Have Tested Positive for COVID-19
In Schulner’s Deadline essay, he took a moment to note that New Amsterdam cast and crew members are among the people who have tested positive for COVID-19, writing “I need to call attention to the fact that members of our cast and crew are now sick. One of our writers is sick. Daniel Dae Kim, whose character was introduced in this episode, tested positive for Covid-19 a few days after we shut down production.”
Daniel Dae Kim, a newly-recurring cast member on New Amsterdam, informed his Instagram followers on March 19 that he had tested positive for Coronavirus. Along with a video message, he wrote “Hi everyone- yesterday I was diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Looks like I’ll be ok, but I wanted share my journey with you in the hopes that you find it informative or helpful. Hope you all stay safe, calm, and above all, healthy.” He offered his final update on his experience with the illness on March 30, announcing that he had recovered.
‘New Amsterdam’ Production Donated PPE That They Use on the Show to NYC Coronavirus Relief Efforts
On March 13, NBC announced that New Amsterdam was among their shows whose production had been halted in compliance with the national shutdown, in an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
While their production is shut down, New Amsterdam is doing what they can to offer support to healthcare workers on the frontlines, in need of PPE as they work to treat and contain the virus. David Schulner told Deadline “Our tireless crew, the costume dept., set dec, props, all went through every storage area, every nook and cranny of every set and put together half a truck load of PPE, masks, gloves, gowns and face masks. While we work closely with Bellevue and Kings County Hospital we are working with NYC relief efforts to find the most needy.”