Bosses at U.S. TV network NBC have pulled an episode of hit medical drama New Amsterdam because it centres on a flu epidemic that’s too close to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The series is shot in New York, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and was set to feature a story line in which a deadly flu like disease breaks out in the city.
Following the completion of filming on the episode, cast member Daniel Dae Kim, a writer and three crew members tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting producers to retitle the Pandemic episode Our Doors Are Always Open.
But now they’ve decided not to air it as planned on 7 April (20).
“The world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts,” series creator David Schulner tells Deadline. “We showed what happens when our hospital has to erect tents in the parking lot because every bed is taken. Sometimes, what the mirror reflects back is too horrifying to look at.”
The news comes as tents are being put up around Manhattan to treat patients as cases continue to grow.
Meanwhile, last week (ends20Mar20) the producers donated medical supplies from the show’s props department to the New York State Department of Health.