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The pandemic is changing the world – will it change TV too? Here are the fall TV premieres covering the pandemic.

What fall TV premieres will cover about the coronavirus pandemic?

It’s hard to ignore the current pandemic and how it’s changing the world. The television industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic as many productions have not been able to film or have had their filming slowed down due to COVID-19 safety protocols.  

Many shows premiering this fall will work the pandemic into their stories and portray how their characters are being affected. Here are some shows premiering this fall covering the pandemic and how it will affect the storyline. 


Charmed is coming back for season 3 sometime in Jan. 2021. Charmed airs on the CW and focuses on a group of three girls who discover they’re witches and use their powers to battle dark forces. 

Showrunners Liz Kruger & Craig Shapiro said even though the series will not directly reference COVID-19 or the pandemic, they will be exploring themes and emotional conflicts relating to situations which many people in the world are experiencing right now. 

“Though we don’t address COVID directly (or the current pandemic explicitly), we will be exploring themes of ‘social distancing,’ isolation and lack of intimacy in our magical storylines,” Kruger & Shapiro said. “We felt it was important to incorporate the emotional struggles we are collectively experiencing at the moment, without making it a literalization of our day to day lives.” 

The Real Housewives of Orange County

Reality TV shows don’t have much of a choice in terms of addressing the pandemic. The Real Housewives of Orange County had to shut down their production for season 15 after five weeks of shooting. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, OC Housewife Shannon Beador said, “We were asked to try and document what was happening in our homes, so for me… I would document the good and the bad. I don’t know what you’re going to see, but I wanted to be authentic.”

In July, Beador and her three daughters had all tested positive for COVID-19, so Beador was not allowed to return to the production of The Real Housewives of Orange County until she had fully recovered. 

This Is Us

This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman has confirmed the hit NBC series will address the coronavirus pandemic directly. The storylines relating to the pandemic will not affect the long-term plans for the characters but will enhance their stories. Each character will also experience the pandemic in a different way. 

“People are wildly affected in different ways about what’s going on in the world right now,” Fogelman said to EW. “It would be really simplistic that everybody’s just kind of locked in their house, getting bored of Zoom calls, when hundreds of thousands of people are dead and it’s affecting different communities differently. So we’re attempting to put a human face on what’s gone on in the last half a year to a year.”

Grey’s Anatomy

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the medical community, and Grey’s Anatomy wants to address the issue head-on. The season 17 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy releases on Nov. 17th and will be a crossover with Station 19. The premiere episode’s storyline will take place weeks into the pandemic. 

In addition to the story matter, the set on Grey’s Anatomy will look different for its seventeenth season as well. Showrunner & executive producer Krista Vernoff told Variety that this season would not feature crowded emergency and operating rooms. There will also be fewer scenes per script, and various camera angles will be utilized to make the characters appear closer than they actually are. 


Connecting is a new series on NBC that premiered on Oct. 8th. The series follows a group of friends trying to stay connected via online video chat during the pandemic. Connecting examines the ups & downs of the pandemic and the ways people will try to remain together and sane during these times.

Connecting embraces everything about the pandemic and turns it into a television sitcom. Reviews for Connecting as of now have been favorable. Video chat in a movie or TV series has been used in the films Unfriended & Searching, so it’s not a concept we haven’t seen before. 

The pandemic has forced TV shows to experiment with how they continue the show in both the production of the series and the story. While some shows are incorporating the pandemic into their story, some shows are still trying to provide relief and not remind us of the crazy world we’re in right now. 

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