Both CBS Daytime soap operas — The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful — have officially decided to suspend production amid the coronavirus pandemic, beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, according to a Deadline report.
The move came after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced new restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. For now, the sudsers plan to stop shooting new episodes for at least two weeks, and both Y&R and B&B don’t film on Mondays, so the sets were dark on March 16 as things in the United States progressed rapidly over the weekend. Today, President Donald Trump gave Americans guidelines for helping slow things down, and he urged people to make significant sacrifices in an effort to overcome the issues caused by the virus. The instructions were for the next two weeks. Still, he also noted that the virus could be an issue until July or August, which made many people feel that the two-week time frame might be just the beginning of the changes that citizens need to make to prevent catastrophe.
The Bell Dramatic Serial Company, in association with Sony Pictures Television, is the producer of the one-hour soap opera, Y&R. Meanwhile, Bell-Phillip Television Productions produces the half-hour serial B&B. Recently, ABC’s one remaining soap, General Hospital, also shut down production as the United States struggles to flatten the curve of coronavirus infections throughout the country.
No doubt, viewers of both daytime dramas are worried that the pause in production might affect new episodes of their favorite soaps. Generally, both B&B and Y&R film about six weeks in advance. This week was originally supposed to have Thursday’s and Friday’s episodes on both shows preempted for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which was scheduled to air first-round games on CBS. However, March Madness was among the sporting events that was eventually canceled as the country scrambled to stop large crowds from gathering. At first, the NCAA tournament announced games would be played without crowds, but the situation progressed rapidly, leading to the cancellation.
Both CBS soaps recently earned renewals. Y&R will air new episodes through 2024 and B&B through 2022, and while Y&R is the highest-rated sudser in the U.S., B&B is the most-watched soap throughout the world.
There is a possibility that the shows will ultimately experience a stoppage in airing new episodes, and it’s not clear how CBS would handle such a disruption. Currently, on certain days, the network airs reruns a few times a year.