With the coronavirus pandemic putting a hold on in-person rooms, a group of comedy showrunners including Issa Rae “Insecure,” Dave Burd “DAVE,” Greg Daniels “UPLOAD,” Alena Smith “Dickinson,” Liz Feldman “Dead to Me,” Courtney Lilly “Black-ish” and Tanya Saracho “Vida” to discuss running virtual rooms, among other topics, at Variety‘s virtual “A Night in the Writers’ Room” event.
“Black-ish” showrunner Courtney Lilly and his room are currently prepping for the ABC show’s seventh season, but he said it feels odd to be out of the established rhythms he and the writers have become used to.
“We’re all making adjustments,” Lilly said. “We’ve been very scheduled, we start at a certain time, we take breaks at certain times. It’s not generally how we worked for six seasons, that’s the adjustment we’re going through. But we’re also at an advantage because we’re in season seven, so there’s a lot of shorthand. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it would be to start up with a whole new group of people and be like, ‘Okay now let’s all be able to share our most intimate details with each other, while we’re in this place so disconnected from one another.’”
“Insecure” creator Issa Rae admitted she felt a sense of trepidation in promoting the HBO series while the coronavirus pandemic and social justice protests were taking place.
Opening the fourth season as the pandemic began to take hold and stay at home orders went into effect, Rae admits wasn’t ideal. “To add the racial tensions that were happening and the angst, anxiety, and the general worry of promoting a show during that time and feeling weird about it was a lot,” the “Insecure” creator said. “I just remember having conversations about what do we do. It just feels like none of this matters right now and it just feels insensitive and kind of untasteful to even talk about this series… At this moment, I just felt guilty. It felt different this time around.”