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‘Riverdale,’ ‘Batwoman,’ ‘Big Sky,’ ‘Nancy Drew’ and ‘Charmed’ Shut Down Over Testing Delays in British Columbia

Riverdale
Courtesy of The CW

Production has shut down on The CW’s Vancouver-based shows “Riverdale,” “Batwoman,” “Nancy Drew” and “Charmed” due to delays in processing COVID-19 tests in British Columbia, sources tell Variety. “Riverdale” and “Batwoman” are produced by Warner Bros. Television; “Nancy Drew” and “Charmed” are from CBS TV Studios.

Disney TV Studios has also hit pause on David E. Kelley’s ABC show “Big Sky” because of the same issues. On a panel for the show at a virtual press conference on Wednesday for the Television Critics Association, Kelley said, “There were some delays in test results, so out of caution we shut down yesterday and today. We expect to resume production either tomorrow or Friday.” 

Variety has confirmed that filming on Disney’s “The Mysterious Benedict Society,” a Hulu adaptation of the best-selling young adult novels, has also shut down.

A representative for Disney — which is also filming ABC’s “A Million Little Things” as well “The Mighty Ducks” for Disney Plus — did not respond to a request for comment.

The filming stoppages are assumed to be temporary, sources say. According to one source, there is a single lab company approved to oversee coronavirus testing, and the company is prioritizing schools, which have reopened in the province, and local businesses.

Warner Bros. Television is also delaying production on The CW’s “The Flash,” “Legends of Tomorrow” and “Supergirl,” both of which were supposed to begin filming this week. A representative from Netflix would not give any details about the status of the streamer’s Vancouver productions, but “Maid,” a WBTV show for Netflix from John Wells Productions, has been shut down as well. The status of Sony’s “The Good Doctor” for ABC is unknown.

WBTV recently completed filming on The CW’s “Supernatural,” which in March had stopped filming as the pandemic spread — with only two episodes left to shoot in its 15-season series. In an interview with Variety, co-showrunner Robert Singer detailed how they accomplished it, which involved testing the 360-person crew three times a week.

Because British Columbia has handled the containment of coronavirus well, the province opened for production in June. There are now dozens of movies and television shows filming in Vancouver, or about to, which gives an incentive to the Vancouver Film Commission to fix this problem. The commissioner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story has been updated with more details about the shows affected.