‘Big Sky’ Creator David E. Kelley On Test Results Delay That Paused Production On ABC Series In Vancouver

As Deadline first reported on Tuesday, most U.S. series filming in Vancouver had to pause or delay production because of delays in COVID-19 test results. One of the impacted shows is ABC’s upcoming PI drama Big Sky.

During ABC’s VirtuFall Panel Series on Wednesday, Deadline asked Big Sky creator/executive producer David E. Kelley about the situation.

“There were some delays in the test results so out of caution we did shut down yesterday and today but fortunately everybody is safe, we’ve had no incidents,” he said. “We expect to resume production probably tomorrow or Friday.”

As Deadline reported earlier this month, Big Sky started production on its 10-episode order Aug. 27. During today’s panel, Kelley revealed that the first two episodes, which are being shot as a block, should be completed late this week or early next week, depending when filming will resume. The show will segue right into production on the rest of the episodes, he said.

Per our story last night, a slew of series from multiple studios, including Riverdale, A Million Little Things, Charmed, Big Sky, Batwoman, The Mighty Ducks, Nancy Drew and Maid, have been idle for one or more  days because of delays of as much as 72+ hours in receiving COVID-19 test results for their casts and crew. Shows that had been scheduled to start this week, including The Flash, Supergirl and DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, have been pushed. There is no indication that there are any positive cases but, without definitive PCR test results and no rapid testing available, studios have had no choice but to halt production. The situation is expected to be remedied by Vancouver adding more local testing capacity.

Big Sky, based on The Highway, the first book in C.J. Box’s Cassie Dewell series of novels, hails from A+E Studios, which produces in association with 20th Television, part of Disney TV Studios.

Written by Kelley, Big Sky is a procedural thriller, in which private detective Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) partners with ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) on a search for two sisters (played by Natalie Alyn Lind and Jade Pettyjohn) who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. When they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken. Ryan Philippe, John Carroll Lynch and Brian Geraghty also star.

Kelley executive produces with Ross Fineman and Box.


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