New Amsterdam is making some changes and shelving an episode that featured a flu epidemic in New York City.
“New Amsterdam has an episode that was written some time ago that focuses on a flu epidemic in New York City. Being sensitive to the current climate, the producers, network and studio have decided that the episode will not air on NBC on April 7 as previously scheduled. Another new episode of New Amsterdam will air on April 14 at 9 p.m. as the season finale,” NBC said in a statement.
According to Deadline, the flu episode will likely air at a later date.
NBC previously handed out a three-season renewal to the drama starring Ryan Eggold. Production on the series was shut down as coronavirus spread around the world. Recurring New Amsterdam guest star Daniel Dae Kim tested posted for the virus and opened up about it on Instagram. Several other crew members and a writer have also tested positive.
Series creator David Schulner opened up about the episode in an essay for Deadline. In his piece, Shulner explained the episode was written in 2019 by David Foster, a doctor.
“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,” he wrote.
“Sometimes, what the mirror reflects back is too horrifying to look at,” Schulner said.
Dae Kim was set to be introduced in the now-shelved episode.
“I know most, if not all of us want this episode to air. We poured our hearts and souls into it. And it will air. Just not now. And when it does some will still say it’s exploitative. Some will still say it’s in bad taste. And some will be grateful to have their experiences reflected back to them. To show them that they were not alone. In a time when isolation was the only way to survive. That there was and is… hope,” Schulner wrote.
Read the full essay on Deadline.
After production was halted, New Amsterdam donated medical supplies to the New York State Department of Health.
New Amsterdam will shift to Tuesdays, 9 p.m. on NBC starting March 31.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov.
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