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Netflix Says Their Production Stoppage Won't Disrupt Output Until 'Later This Year'

Gettyimages | CHRIS DELMAS
By Joe Allen

Like most things, production on Netflix series and movies have ground to a halt in response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Although production on shows like "Stranger Things" and "The Witcher" had to shut down, the company's chief content officer Ted Sarandos said he is not expecting it t impact their ability to provide new content to subscribers any time soon.

In an interview on CNN's "Reliable Sources" this weekend, Sarandos played down the idea that the production stoppage would lead to less new content.

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Ted Sarandos at a Q&A
Gettyimages | Matt Winkelmeyer

In the interview, Sarandos said that production is typically happening far ahead of a film or series' scheduled premiere.

“What’s happening now is we work pretty far ahead with delivering all the episodes of our shows at once,” Sarandos said. “So there will be no disruption over the next few months, maybe later in the year as physical production is not operational.”

Sarandos also said that the viewership numbers for the company had risen precipitously as more people find themselves trapped at home.

Netflix logo
Gettyimages | ALASTAIR PIKE

“You can imagine, all viewing is up," Sarandos said. "It’s up on Netflix, on CNN on television in general. The system has been very robust and can help out a lot of people. People certainly are watching a lot more Netflix. As Governor Andrew Cuomo said so beautifully, the best thing you can do is stay at home. We are trying hard to help.”

Netflix may not be operating at full force in terms of production, but it seems they're still trying to keep their subscribers entertained.

Ted Sarandos on the red carpet
Gettyimages | Arturo Holmes

Production on Netflix series has not entirely halted, either. The cast and crew of "Big Mouth" recently held a table read over video chat to prepare for the show's new season. Sarandos said that the company's goal was not to lose momentum on shows that were in the middle of filming, so that when production resumes, those shows can immediately get back to work.

“People are getting geared up for a time they can get back to work," the chief content officer said.

Netflix logo on a building
Gettyimages | Mario Tama

In addition to working on their own series, Netflix has also set up a $100 million fund for people working in the TV and film industry. The majority of the funding will go to crews on shows inside of Netflix, but $15 million has also been set aside to donate to third parties supporting artists who are unable to work as a result of the virus.

In a time when entertainment is more important than ever, it seems the company is trying to do what they can.

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