Series finales of ‘Empire,’ ‘Supernatural’ may not happen; what becomes of reality shows like ‘The Voice,’ ‘Idol’

Originally posted Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Several broadcast shows abruptly suspended production last week with one to four episodes to go. Those episodes may never get finished courtesy of the pandemic. 

This is not as big a deal for shows coming back next season like shows shot in Atlanta like “Legacies,” “Dynasty” or “Black Lightning” but series that are concluding forever like the CW’s “Supernatural” and “Empire” may not get the season finales fans are thirsting for. 

The futures of the current seasons of  “America’s Got Talent,” “American Idol” and “The Voice” are also up in the air. Much of those shows have pre-taped episodes, but they all need live shows at some point. “Idol,’ for instance, has enough pre-done episodes to run through March 29 but April episodes are now in question. 

According to Deadline.com, almost all CBS, NBC and the CW shows and some ABC and Fox ones that have not finished taping, will not do so. 

In Atlanta, two shows shot here - CBS’s “MacGyver” and Fox’s “The Resident” - have not yet been renewed so whether they come back in 2020-21 is not yet known. All three CW shows shot locally - “Legacies,” “Dynasty” and “Black Lightning” - are coming back next season. 

“As the COVID-19 outbreak situation remains uncertain and unpredictable, holding onto the crews for weeks in hope to film one more episode is hard to justify financially, and restarting production involves a big expense too,” the Deadline story noted.

I’m checking with the publicists at all five Atlanta-produced shows to see how many actually outstanding episodes are left for each series and will update this as I get them. Neither the publicist for “MacGyver” nor “Dynasty” had specific info, providing the same exact standard “off the record” email comment. “The Resident” ha finished 20 episodes and had three more to go that may not get done.  “Black Lightning” concluded its season a few weeks ago so was not affected. 

Some dangling, not-shot finales may get incorporated into future seasons for certain shows. 

Both “Supernatural” and “Empire” still have one or two episodes outstanding. Given the situation for those particular shows, they might end up having “concluding” finale episodes airing later as special events once productions could go back into gear at some point in the future. 

Three others shows which are ending this season - ABC’s “Modern Family,” CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O” and the CW’s “The 100” -  have finished shooting and won’t be impacted. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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