An NBC staff member whose name we cannot release has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and is currently in Chicago undergoing treatment.
The staff member, who was in a department that effected all three Dick Wolf Chicago shows, is from California and has been in Chicago since the Christmas hiatus. He is said to be a fixture here who has been working in Chicago for many years and has been with the Chicago franchise for several years on Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago PD.
Because he said to be an older man, those who know him, have much concern about how serious this virus will effect him. His last appearance at the studio was at a meeting in a production office on March 5, which should add a hopeful outlook for others, if the theory of 14 days from exposure is viable.
All members of the Chicago crews have been notified. Before knowledge of this case, all three NBC shows were halted last week. There have been no other reported cases within these crew members.
At this date, in response to the efforts of stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Chicago production has shut down. The Illinois Film Office has stopped issuing Film, TV, and commercial permits.
Empire may be back next week
There is still a potential for the Empire TV series to shoot on set for 5 days next week to complete their season and close the show. The show is said to be taking a short hiatus as the final episode is being rewritten and sets are being constructed. A portion of the nineteenth episode has been filmed. Instead of 20 episodes, they will close the show in the nineteenth episode.
The Empire crew has been paid for the week and an anonymous source has said that the core crews from the three Dick Wolf shows have been given two weeks in severance pay.
As Empire closes out, they will begin the monumental task of sorting out their property and dismantling all seven stages at Cinespace.
Beyond that we will wait to hear about the next production, and there many rumors about what that will be. Sources say that everything from the Empire sets will be held in storage for the pilot of the next production that they are allegedly going to begin.
Send your news to Reel Chicago editor, Barbara Roche Barb@ReelChicago.com