The series is set and filmed in New York, which is the “epicenter” of United States’ cases. After the flu episode finished production, one of New Amsterdam‘s recurring guest stars, Daniel Dae Kim, tested positive for coronavirus. Not only did Kim get sick, but at least three other crew members were also diagnosed with the coronavirus. Schulner did clarify that so far, all of the infected crew members and Kim are currently on the mend.
Out of respect for the people on set and the current health crisis, creator David Schulner decided to pull the planned pandemic episode.
According to Deadline, the episode, titled “Our Doors Are Always Open,” was originally set to air on April 7. Instead, the television show will run a repeat episode.
New Amsterdam is one of many television shows to shutdown production early due to the coronavirus. Season 2 of the series has been shortened because of the shutdown. Without the pandemic episode, it will be even shorter. The show will air its last produced episode, the Season 2 finale, on April 14.
However, the pandemic episode has not been permanently shelved. NBC recently renewed New Amsterdam for three more seasons. The article says that “Our Doors Are Always Open” will air in one of the following seasons. It may be edited or renamed between now and the eventual airdate to ensure that it fits into the show’s continuity.
Schulner penned an essay for Deadline detailing the decision-making process behind the episode and his reasons for declining to air it during the current crisis.
“The world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts.”
The creator said that the episode would have shown the reality of what happens when hospitals are overwhelmed by patients. The fictional doctors would “erect tents in the parking lot because every bed is taken.”
Unfortunately, that frightening visual is already happening in real life at Bellevue hospital in New York. Photographs show the military has erected tents as “makeshift morgues.”
New Amsterdam was inspired by Bellevue hospital, and the series also films there.
As The Blitz News previously reported, New Amsterdam was one of the medical dramas that delivered much-needed healthcare supplies such as masks, gloves, gowns, and more to hospitals in need of them.