New details have been announced about how The Bold and the Beautiful will implement its COVID-19 protocol. For that story, continue reading here.
After nearly three months of a forced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's back to work for the cast and crew of The Bold and the Beautiful. B&B is the first US soap opera to get back up and running after all four network dramas -- B&B, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital, and Days of our Lives -- were ordered to go dark when coronavirus-related lockdowns began in March.
Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) broke the news that B&B was back in production via a photo on Instagram that shows him outside the entrance of the studio where B&B films, wearing a mask and pointing to a "Welcome Back" sign.
"HERE. WE. GO. Every bit of safety protocol imaginable is in place, and @boldandbeautifulcbs is back in production!!!" he captioned the photo. "LET'S ROLL!!!"
Among the excited replies from fans was a message from Diamont's costar Katrina Bowden (Flo Fulton), who replied, "Ayyyyyyyy! cya soon."
Meanwhile, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) shared an Instagram story to the tune of RuPaul's "Call Me Mother" to show that she, too, was back to work.
Soap Central reported back in May that The Bold and the Beautiful would possibly be the first of the four network soap operas to resume filming amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers from the CBS soap reportedly sent a memo to its cast and crew last month that stated that the show was readying itself to resume production in June, but the date was tentative, as producers were waiting for the green light from the government and for official guidelines to be set in place. Those came last week with the release of a 22-page document from the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force (whose members include AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild, IATSE, and the Teamsters) that offers recommended protocols that would allow production to restart while minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The recommendations in the document included testing of cast and crew members, daily monitoring for possible symptoms, social distancing, establishing a workplace COVID-19 compliance officer, carrying out health checks on all vendors and employees when they arrive on set, setting procedures for how to handle the situation of any employee exhibiting coronavirus symptoms or for those who test positive, adopting measures to "minimize scenes with close contact between performers," minimizing shooting schedules to minimize performers' travel, filming in such a way that interactions are kept between as few cast members as possible, and requiring that all employees and visitors wear cloth face coverings, unless their production activity -- like filming a scene -- does not permit it.
Said Scott Clifton (Liam Spencer) of some of these changes in May, "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."
It is unclear at this time if B&B plans to write the COVID-19 pandemic into its upcoming storylines. Doing so might allow storyline to be altered just enough to explain why characters would be socially distancing on-screen. Several stars have suggested that it might be impossible for the soaps to not address the pandemic in some way.
For some thoughts on how The Bold and the Beautiful might move forward now that things are slowly getting back to normal, check out this week's Two Scoops commentary for predictions, requests, and some not-so-subtle suggestions from our columnist.
As for when fans can expect to see new episodes on-air, that could come as early as mid-July. The daytime drama will resume filming on Wednesday, June 17.
UPDATE (JUNE 16, 2020): B&B executive producer and head writer Brad Bell has provided details that explain how The Bold and the Beautiful was able to return to production so quickly. For that part of the story, continue reading here.
What do you think about B&B resuming production? Do you want the powers that be to write COVID-19 into the storylines? How do you think the show will look when it begins airing again? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.