Fall TV Upfronts: The CW and Fox Join CBS and NBC in Scrapping Live Events

Fall TV Upfronts: The CW and Fox Join CBS and NBC in Scrapping Live Events

The CW and Fox, like CBS and NBC, have decided to scrap their annual live Fall TV Upfront presentations, due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

Instead of a star-studded affair held at the New York City Center, The CW on Thursday, May 14 will instead proceed with “an alternative plan to communicate its strategy and schedule to ad buyers and industry journalists.”

Similarly, Fox on Monday, May 11 will “host a digital presentation for the advertising community to preview the latest programming and schedule.”

Already this Upfront season, several cable and streaming outlets had moved or cancelled their own presentations planned for earlier in the spring. Mid-May, however, is reserved for splashy presentations by NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS and The CW, touting their respective portfolios.

“In light of recent developments and the current guidelines being set by health officials regarding COVID-19, The CW Network has decided to forgo its traditional live upfront presentation… as we join the community’s efforts to ensure that everyone’s health and safety is our top priority,” the network said in a statement. “As a result, we are currently exploring alternative and innovative ways of communicating The CW’s overall strategy, showcase our new and returning programming and present our upcoming fall schedule to advertisers, press, the industry and our fans. We will be sharing additional details as we move forward.”

ABC has yet announced its current plan for the mid-May Upfronts.

Rejiggered Upfront presentations are but the latest example of how the global coronavirus outbreak is affected TV shows and industry events, with more than 1,000 cases now reported in the United States. Survivor and The Amazing Race have delayed production on upcoming seasons; shows like The Tonight Show and Jeopardy! have begun filming without a live audience; and Riverdale has temporarily halted production after a crew member came in contact with a person who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

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