CBS drama series All Rise will produce a “virtual” episode themed on the COVID-19 pandemic, shooting footage in the actors’ homes and using VFX to create backgrounds. It’s the first episode of a primetime scripted series to be produced while practicing social distancing by using remote programs like FaceTime, WebEx, and Zoom.
The episode of the freshman courthouse drama based in Los Angeles will feature the characters dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place rules, and how the coronavirus pandemic affects the criminal justice system there.
“It’s a unique chance for our All Rise family to band together – in our different homes, even cities – to tell a story about resilience, justice and the power of community,” executive producer Greg Spottiswood said in a statement.
A quick preview of the episode: Judge Benner (Marg Helgenberger) authorizes Judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick) to preside over a virtual bench trial while various other members of the main cast try to keep their relationships alive while under quarantine. One character will deal with the struggle of taking on a side hustle as a food delivery driver.
Consulting producer Gil Garcetti, a former Los Angeles County district attorney, will “provide insight into how the justice system continues in Los Angeles, even during the pandemic,” according to a release from CBS.
In addition to filming the actors in their homes, a cinematographer will shoot (from a vehicle) footage of the deserted streets in and around Los Angeles. Executive producer Michael Robin will direct the episode, which is currently being written and will air on May 4th at 9PM ET on CBS.