‘American Idol’ Suspending Production, Sending Contestants Home Due to Coronavirus
American Idol is suspending production and sending contestants home amid concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to TV Line, the iconic reality TV singing contest is suspending production effective immediately to ensure that the contestants who have traveled to be on the show are able to get back to their families. A source tells TV Line that the rest of the production team will continue to work remotely, as they have been doing since last week.
As it currently stands, the episodes that have already filmed will continue to air through the beginning of the live shows. The live competitions were originally slated to begin in mid-April, but that's currently up in the air as producers continue to monitor the pandemic and its effects from week to week. American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays on ABC, with Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie serving as the judging panel since ABC launched the reboot in 2018.
The news is the latest in a series of shows that have been affected as people self-quarantine during the pandemic, which has disrupted trade all over the globe. The World Health Organization declared the virus outbreak a pandemic on March 11, and U.S. President Donald Trump has declared a national emergeny to try to contain the outbreak.
Nashville has been hit especially hard by the virus, which came on the heels of a tornado that swept through Music City and Middle Tennessee in early March. Most of the major tours slated slated to begin in the coming weeks have been canceled or postponed, along with a number of major festivals, while the bars and restaurants that are the lifeblood of Nashville's tourist economy have shut down indefinitely.
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