Coronavirus Forces CBS and NBC to Move Upfronts Online, The Morning Show Production Hiatus

CBS and NBC have emerged as the first broadcast-TV networks to switch up their plans for their annual upfront presentations. 

Both networks have announced their respective presentations for advertisers will play out online as opposed in person. 

The move is unsurprising, especially given the rising threat of the Coronavirus. 


NBC Universal’s telecast will play out Monday, May 11, while CBS and CBS All Access will show off their new projects Wednesday, May 11.  

Typically, networks show off new trailers and talent for their new shows they have ordered for the coming season, and that is still expected to occur, but it just won’t have any advertisers present. 

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“CBS has a very good story to tell, and this year we need a unique way to tell it,” CBS Entertainment chief Kelly Kahl said in a statement.

“We’re confident that this alternate format for this year can deliver what we’ve come to expect from a CBS Upfront – entertainment, stars, strategy and the first look at our new primetime series.”

NBCUniversal Chairman of Advertising & Partnerships, Linda Yaccarino, said, “At this moment in time, we can embrace a new future that puts our audiences and our partners first.”

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“This year’s Upfront Presentation will ensure everyone’s safety, while allowing us to give fans and marketers a preview of the upcoming season.”

There’s still no word on what The CW, ABC, and FOX will be doing, but it’s highly likely they will follow suit. 

Meanwhile, Apple TV+ drama series, The Morning Show will be going on a two-week hiatus effective immediately. 

The decision was made by the series’ studio, Media Res, in conjunction with Apple.

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“In concert with our dedicated partners at Apple, we have concluded it would be prudent to take a two-week hiatus to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the incredible people who make this show,.” said Michael Ellenberg, Founder and CEO of Media Res.

The news comes after production on Riverdale and Survivor was halted, while many shows that typically have studio audiences are filming without them for the time being. 

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Hit the comments below. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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