Soap opera fans are hungry for things to get back to normal on the sets of their favorite daytime shows, all of which have been forced to shut down production due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Bold and the Beautiful ran out of new material and started airing throwback episodes in April, and it looks as if the CBS soap opera won't be able to begin filming again anytime soon. The future is murky, but two of the show's biggest stars -- Scott Clifton (Liam Spencer) and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) -- have shed some light on what might happen in the weeks and/or months ahead.
Wood reveals that when B&B first went on hiatus, none of the cast or crew realized just how extended the break would turn out to be.
"The mood was very interesting because we didn't know we were going into quarantine," she tells TshisaLIVE. "We film two weeks on, one week off. Early in March I filmed a few episodes and was off for the week. We thought we were coming back. When we were filming, we had no idea about the gravity of Covid-19 and assumed we would be coming back right away."
Wood has been enjoying being at home with her family and newborn, but she is excited to return to work -- even though filming protocol might be drastically different than it was before they left.
"I am kind of navigating this, so I don't really know [what to expect]," she says. "I think behind the scenes there will be a skeleton crew, or smaller crew, and I guess more organised with how we shoot, with audio and directors and making sure we wash our hands and cleanliness around the studio."
Clifton also reports that he assumes the filming protocols will be different once things get back up and running again.
"Everything is tentative," the actor told fans in a recent live stream on Twitter. "We're really, really itching to get back in there and give you guys more story. But we want to stay safe to, and even when we do go back there's going to be a lot of protocol that wasn't in place before. We're going to have to do things a lot differently. It's going to be a lot smaller of a set with people on it, a lot of measures to make sure that everybody is healthy and safe and not infecting anybody. And we might even have to film things a bit differently, where you know, we're not necessarily in such close proximity [with one another] in the scenes. I assume you as our fans would understand that"
Clifton shares that the show was shooting for a mid-May return, but with the safer-at-home orders in Los Angeles having been extended once again, there's no telling when things might get back up and running.
"We're dying to get back to work," Clifton says. "But we're going to do it safely and intelligently."
B&B isn't the only soap opera facing questions about how to resume production. The long-running Australian soap Neighbours began filming again at the end of April with several safety protocols in place, including limiting the number of actors in any given scene, banning physical contact between performers, and implementing restrictions on hair and makeup (with male actors not wearing any makeup at all).
Meanwhile, BBC just announced that it plans to resume production of the British soap opera EastEnders in June. Says BBC director of content Charlotte Moore, "We've been looking very carefully at how we can safely put some of our shows back into production, and I'm pleased to announce that we plan to begin filming again on both EastEnders and Top Gear by the end of next month. Cast members will do their own hair and make-up. Social distancing measures will be in place."
Moore also says that coronavirus is expected to be referenced as part of the storylines, although not in a prominent way.
What do you think about Clifton and Wood's comments regarding the future of B&B? When and how do you think U.S. soap operas will be able to start filming again? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.