To watch scripted television in recent weeks is to believe Hollywood has steamrolled through the coronavirus pandemic. Fall shows, it would seem, are chronicling the grim interruptions to Americans’ lives without suffering any of their own.
But the up-to-the-minute plotlines gild what insiders say has been a very tumultuous time. Covid-19 and its restrictions have been taking a heavy toll on scripted television, forcing many productions to pause, budgets to rise, episode counts to be slashed and even some shows to be canceled outright. Much like college football, an attempted projection of normalcy conceals the chaos beneath.
“Every one of our shows in production has been touched in some way by quarantine,” said creator Greg Berlanti, who has nearly 20 active series across broadcast networks and streaming, including “Riverdale” on the CW, “You” on Netflix and this week’s “The Flight Attendant” on HBO Max. “You have to commend everyone who’s