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The TV Show Refusing To Shut Down During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Long live The Crown — at least for now. 

Amid the rapid spread of coronavirus and the near-daily announcement of new COVID-19 cases, the global film and television industry has essentially closed up shop for the next few weeks. The industry-wide shuttering could cost the film industry alone upwards of $5 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Nevertheless, studios are making moves to protect workers and prevent any long-term impact the pandemic might have on filming schedules. 

Yet, while the coronavirus shut down Riverdale season 4 four and delayed production on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Netflix's hit royal drama The Crown is keeping calm and carrying on. Deadline reports that Left Bank Pictures, the studio behind the series tracing the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, has made the decision not to halt production on season 4 of The Crown

The decision comes despite social distancing and self-quarantining recommendations from international experts like the World Health Organization as well as U.K.-based agencies like Public Health England. 

The current plan is to finish out the final week of filming on the streaming series' fourth season to "tie up loose ends" and avoid additional costs of wrapping later. It's not clear what degree of shooting is required and what precautions the production will take, if any, to help protect the show's cast and crew. But they'll be necessary since The Crown films in the U.K., where the pandemic is expected to last until spring 2021 and could result in nearly 8 million hospitalized, according to The Guardian

Left Bank Pictures' choice to remain in production with the end of filming so close was something that several U.S. studios debated early on, per THR's report. But as the severity of the virus' spread became apparent and some working on productions tested positive for the virus, many ultimately opted to shutter temporarily.

Netflix and film studios have pulled the plug on other U.K.- and Europe-based series

The Crown may be sticking around, but Netflix already announced that another one of its popular series that films across the pond was going on hiatus. The coronavirus impacted The Witcher filming in a major way last week, with the series becoming the first Netflix U.K.-based production to shut down. The fantasy series starring Henry Cavill is primarily filmed in a studio outside of London and was only in early production on season 2 when the decision was made. The Crown season 4 is in its very last stretch of shooting, but it films all over a country where health officials have announced a rise in new coronavirus cases. 

While it may seem strange that two Netflix productions have made separate calls on whether to shut down filming, Deadline also reported the streamer is allowing producers on its international productions to make hiatus decisions on a case-by-case basis. That was not its approach to its U.S. and Canadian productions, with work on series like Stranger Things and the internationally filmed Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds-led film Red Notice halted practically at once. 

In the case of The Witcher, Netflix agreed to continue paying the series' team through the two-week mandated hiatus, which is good for the show and others with similar arrangements but not so much for the studio. Many assume the self-quarantine will benefit the streamer as whole families may be home and watching, but the effect the coronavirus could have on Netflix is surprising. As the streaming site loses money on shuttered productions, it may also be losing international subscribers in the face of a plummeting stock market. 

Though it might not be the safest decision, the numbers make it easier to see why The Crown team fought to carry on its royal duties and continue filming season 4 even amid the coronavirus pandemic.