Already having taken a bite out of the box office, the coronavirus outbreak has now hit reality television.
According to Variety, “The Bachelorette” (DIS) is already cancelled filming in Italy due to outbreak concerns — and may be forced to nix other abroad travel plans as worldwide cases continue to soar. A former contestant explained why the COVID-19 crisis may impact the show in more ways than one.
“The travel time is some of the biggest lulls in between filming and seeing the lead,” former “Bachelorette” contestant Jason Tartick told Yahoo Finance during a recent interview.
By not going abroad, travel and filming time might be cut — thus saving ABC some money. However, the network may have even bigger concerns, given the already tight living space at the show’s famous mansion.
“There were ten bunk beds [in the room I was in] so if someone catches any bit of a cold or flu they have to take precaution immediately and worst case scenario, it could impact the whole season,” Tartick warned.
Warner Brothers (T) responded in a statement to Variety, writing, “As the health and safety of our talent and employees are always our primary concerns, production travel is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis,” it said, “factoring in the latest information from a variety of organizations, including the CDC, WHO, U.S. State Department and in-territory local health agencies.”
Contestants have previously traveled to exotic locations like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Portugal and Spain while Costa Rica, Chile, Peru and Australia were just some of the top filming locations for the current season of “The Bachelor.”
But the livelihoods of contestants are jeopardized in other ways as well.
Organizers for Stagecoach and Coachella officially postponed the popular music festivals until the fall — a move which could muddle the business plans of “Bachelor” alums that frequent the festivals in order to leverage their brand.
“[There’s] a lot of impact for former alumni and current contestants,” Tartick told Yahoo Finance.
Coronavirus Impact on Entertainment Industry
The coronavirus has hit the entertainment industry particularly hard.
Overall, the global box office is expected to take a possible $5 billion hit due to the shift in production schedules and theater closures, amid what JPMorgan Chase analysts called a “softness in recent weeks” in movie box office receipts. The firm noted that weekend box office numbers were down about 20% from recent trends.
“No Time to Die”, the final installment of the Daniel Craig-led James Bond franchise, was forced to push out its global release date by seven months with the epidemic raging in key markets.
Meanwhile, Disney’s live action ‘Mulan’ is expected to lose out on millions after delaying its Chinese premiere.
China has shut down nearly 70,000 movie theaters, with no plans to re-open until at least April.
Alexandra Canal is a Producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193