Neighbours has been forced to stop filming — again — due to the current coronavirus pandemic just days after production recommenced following a ‘short break’.
Cast and crew on the long-running TV soap wrapped on Friday, a week earlier than planned, and won’t return to the Nunawading, Melbourne set until April 14, TV Tonight reports.
“To allow us to refine the Neighbours production model in light of the current Government restrictions in place, Fremantle has decided to start its planned Easter break one week earlier than scheduled, and the series will break for two weeks from the end of shoot this evening (March 27),” a Fremantle spokesperson told TV Tonight.
Production of Channel Nine’s iconic program was temporarily put on hold two weeks earlier, however, according to Mumbrella, filming at Ramsay Street was back up and running with a ‘minimal’ crew the following week.
Fans are being reassured that the most recent break will have ‘no interruption to on-air delivery’.
All the Aussie TV shows on hold due to COVID-19
Just like music festivals, fashion week, film festivals and movie premieres which have all been cancelled due to coronavirus, Australia’s favourite TV shows are also taking a beating.
Below is a list of all the local programs that are currently on hold or delayed due to COVID-19.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though, thanks to our hand-picked list of the best shows to stream while in self-isolation.
The Bachelor halts production
In light of the rapid spread of coronavirus worldwide, Network 10 and Warner Bros. have made the decision to halt production of Locky Gilbert's season of The Bachelor until it is safe to continue.
In a statement, Channel 10 said, “Although we have been employing extra precautions on set for some time, it is no longer practical to continue with production.
“The health and safety of our participants and crew members is our number one priority. These are extremely difficult times for all Australians and for our industry, and the full extent of those difficulties will not be known for some time to come.
“Our decision to halt production was made after considering all available options. We will resume production when it is safe to do so.
“While this decision is disappointing, we remain committed to keeping our audiences entertained and connected in these challenging times. We are also committed to ensuring the television industry remains in as strong a shape as possible so we can continue to bring Australian viewers local content.”
Bachelor In Paradise postpones release
Channel Ten also confirmed to TV Tonight, that they were postponing Bachelor in Paradise's April premiere date to instead air in "the coming months".
Not very specific.
They said, "Do not panic. You will still get to see your favourite bachelorettes and bachelors when they return to paradise for romance, scandal, betrayal and – for three couples – true love."
"Bachelor In Paradise has wrapped production and will air in the coming months."
The first promo for Bachelor In Paradise showed cheeky Brit Ciarran Stott walk in naked with only some grapes covering himself downstairs.
“Hey Abbie I brought you some grapes,” he says to Matt Agnew's runner-up Abbie Chatfield.
Lovable, long-haired larrikin Timm Hanly will be the first to arrive in paradise when the season gets underway. Although he didn’t get the fairytale ending he hoped for with Angie, Timm won the hearts of women across Australia and is hoping to find a lady to laugh with in paradise.
Laser-focused Jamie, also from Angie’s season, will be there, alongside Brittany Hockley from Nick Cummin’s season of The Bachelor Australia, and Helena Sauzier, second-runner up for Matt Agnew’s heart.
The Block has officially shut down
Filming of The Block has also temporarily shut down in the wake of the coronavirus.
Producers have sent contestants back to their home states before border closures are enforced for an indefinite amount of time.
Speaking with the Herald Sun, show creator Julian Cress, said they decided to "stop filming with the contestants and stop the competition temporarily so we could get out ahead of (any) looming shutdown of state borders and a potential full lockdown of the state”.
“(We wanted) to get the contestants home to their families, as they live all around the country and are away from their children,” he said.
He added that the “potential for them to be locked down in Melbourne was too much of a risk.”
While the show may be shut down, the actual construction site continues to operate, We’re still operating the building site for as long as we possibly can (to keep) our tradies employed so they can continue to feed their families,” Julian said.
“Our aim is to get everything up and running as soon as we can to deliver the show when we intended.”
He added that around a third of the show has already been shot and that their editing team is capable of turning episodes around in a very short period of time.
“Every year, we shoot the auctions on a Saturday and air them on a Sunday,” he said
Channel 9 said in a statement, “The Block looks forward to returning contestants back to Melbourne and resuming production when practical to do so.
“Separately from contestants, The Block employs many tradespeople and freelancers, who rely on income earned from (the show) for a living.”
Home and Away advised to stop filming
“Seven Studios advised today that it would halt filming of Home and Away immediately,” a spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au. on Monday.
“It confirmed that no cast or crew had tested positive for COVID-19, but that the decision was made due to the increasing logistical hurdles related to the COVID-19 situation.”
The news comes just days after stars of the 30-year-old series rallied together to hold virtual rehearsals via video call in a bid to adhere to social distancing protocol.
It’s unclear as yet how long the production break will be, or if it will affect the weeknight broadcast of the program.
Big Brother on pause following positive coronavirus test
Home & Away isn’t the only Channel 7 show affected by the pandemic, with the network forced to shut down the production of Big Brother Australia while a crew member is tested for coronavirus.
TV Blackbox reported production at Sydney's Manly North Head was halted when the crew member revealed someone they live with tested positive for COVID-19.
Channel Seven and Endemol Shine Australia have asked crew members to self-isolate until the affected crew member's results come back.
A spokesperson for Endemol Shine Australia told the website, “We have been made aware that a Big Brother crew member has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
“The crew member is currently feeling well and showing no symptoms of the virus, however, is being tested and now self-isolating.
“As a precaution the site is currently in lock down pending testing and further advice. We continue to work within all Federal and State guidelines and will always make the health, safety and well-being of our cast and crew our number one priority. Housemates have been brought up to date with the current situation.”
Should the crew member test positive for coronavirus, production will need to be fully shut down for another two weeks.
At this stage, it's unclear whether housemates have remained inside the house while the crew have been self-isolating.
Contestants ‘shocked’ by virus news
Host Sonia Kruger revealed last week that contestants were shocked to find out about the coronavirus pandemic, however, their reactions won't be shown on TV.
Speaking on Sunrise, she said, “Our executive producer went into the house and spoke to them through the diary room, but it wasn't filmed.
“[The producer] didn't enter the house. She spoke to them through the diary room and answered all of their questions. They were shocked, as most people would be learning of this worldwide pandemic.”
The show began filming last month and is being pre-recorded for the first time in its history.
Channel 7 has been contacted for comment.
Australian Survivor season six scrapped
Channel 10 was forced to pull the plug on the upcoming sixth season of the popular reality TV show which was set to be filmed in Fiji.
“Following the Australian Government’s latest advice on overseas travel, plus discussions with the Fijian Government, production of the new season of Australian Survivor has been postponed,” a Network 10 spokesperson told 10 daily last Thursday.
They added that while the decision was ‘disappointing’ the health and wellbeing of the cast and crew was the ‘number one priority’ and promised to deliver a production update soon.
Days earlier, the network announced radical changes to the finale episode of the current season, Survivor: All Stars, which would be filmed without a live audience as originally intended.
The show’s US-based host, Jonathan LaPaglia, was unable to fly into Australia for the recording due to travel restrictions and was replaced by The Bachelor frontman Osher Günsberg.
Dancing With The Stars ditches studio audience
Another of 10’s reality TV shows, Dancing With The Stars, was also stripped of its live audience, and one of the contestants was forced to perform outside of the studio in order to remain in self-isolation.
Christian Wilkins and his dance partner Lily Cornish were skyped in from the rooftop of their hotel where they are currently in quarantine after Christian’s father, Channel Nine TV personality Richard Wilkins, tested positive to COVID-19 on March 16.
The Voice ‘postponed’
Filming of Channel Nine’s singing competition The Voice was put on ice as two of its coaches - Kelly Rowland and Guy Sebastian - and new host Renee Bargh were required to self-quarantine after being abroad.
“The filming of The Voice has been temporarily postponed in the wake of the coronavirus and new government protocols,” a network spokesperson said.
“The show is still currently on track to begin airing in its originally planned timeframe, which will be announced in the coming months.”
Australia’s Got Talent stop production
Fresh from snagging big names Sonia Kruger and Kyle Sandilands as judges, filming of Seven’s AGT is also on hold, Mumbrella reports.
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