NBC has pulled its April 7 episode of hospital drama “New Amsterdam,” about a flu epidemic in New York City, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that’s strafing the city.
“Being sensitive to the current climate, the producers, network and studio have decided that the episode will not air on NBC on April 7 as previously scheduled,” the network said in a statement, adding that the episode “was written some time ago … Another episode of ‘New Amsterdam’ will air on April 14 at 9 p.m. as the season finale.”
Insiders say that everyone involved in the decision “felt it was the right thing to do.”
“New Amsterdam,” which was recently renewed for another three seasons, is filmed in New York City and is set in a socially progressive, forward-thinking Manhattan hospital. Ryan Eggold stars as the hospital’s medical director, Dr. Max Goodwin, who’s been battling cancer since the 2018 series premiere. The Tuesday night drama airs 9 p.m. on NBC.
Series creator David Schulner says the episode will air “sooner rather than later.”
“It’s an extremely haunting episode,” he says. “Possibly one of our best. David Foster, who wrote the episode in December, had the idea of New Amsterdam dealing with a flu pandemic simmering since Season 1 and Nick Gomez directed the hell out of it.
“There are many moments, some beautiful, some terrifying.”
Schulner says the decision to pull the episode was made Monday night. “We spent the next 24 hours figuring out what it would mean for the show in the long term,” he says. “It was a difficult decision for everyone, at every level … made even more difficult because the episode was so impactful.
“On the one hand, the purpose of art is to reflect back our own experiences in ways that help us better understand ourselves,” he says. “To watch our heroes do battle with other or themselves so that we may learn from their struggle, which is our struggle.
“On the other hand, real people are dying,” he says. “Bodies are piling up in churches in Italy. Mortuaries in Spain are overflowing with bodies. Do we need more images of this?
“These are the questions we’ve all been wrestling with.”
Repeats of “New Amsterdam” will air the next two weeks, followed by the April 14 season finale.
“New Amsterdam” has donated supplies of masks, gloves, gowns and other items to the New York state Department of Health “to be utilized on the basis of highest need” in connection with COVID-19 relief efforts in New York.
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