Picard Set Shuts Down After Covid-19 Outbreak

Soji (Isa Briones) and Picard (Patrick Stewart) could be a bit more social distancing this season. Image: CBS

Season two of the Star Trek series Picard ready to arrive next month on Paramount+, but the show is still in production, on a schedule structured for filming seasons two and three back to back. Or it was in production until this week, when the sci-fi show was temporarily grounded for exactly the reason you think.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news: “Sources say more than 50 members of the big production tested positive on Monday, the first working day after the Christmas break. The Patrick Stewart-led series has one of the largest television crews, with more than 450 employees. The infections affected multiple zones, including cast in zone A.” Trade also noted that production is expected to resume next week, “if not sooner, although details remain in the dark.”

Deadline soon released its own report on the story with additional information, namely that lead actor Stewart was not among the Picard cast and crew who tested positive for the virus. It also added that the Los Angeles-based show was in production on season two at the time of its closure.

Given the state of the world and the rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, this news isn’t particularly surprising — welcome to Hollywood’s new normal in these pandemic times — though the sheer number of positive test cases, especially now that the industry has widely accepted strict covid protocols, is still startling. Presumably, this production stoppage won’t affect next month’s season two premiere, although no announcement has been made yet.

In addition to Stewart, Picard also stars Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Jeri Ryan, Orla Brady, and Brent Spiner.

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