All Rise on CBS to make special coronavirus episode using online technology
What production shutdown? The freshman courthouse drama All Rise has made the shrewd decision to produce a special episode for May that addresses the coronavirus pandemic and how it impacts the criminal justice system.
But the cast and crew won't be returning to a Hollywood soundstage: the entire episode will be filmed using FaceTime, WebEx, Zoom, and other available online technology. In the episode, Judge Benner (Marg Helgenberger) will authorize Judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick) to preside over a virtual trial that involves a dispute between brothers and a stolen car. Emily (Jessica Camacho) will represent the defendant, a graffiti artist, and Mark (Wilson Bethel) will prosecute.
The B-stories will address romance in the age of quarantine, and how social distancing impacts a germaphobe. The characters will be seen "managing their new normal” of working from home in light of the outbreak.
“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,” said executive producer Greg Spottiswood in a statement.
Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti will consult on the episode and how the justice system continues in Los Angeles, even during a pandemic. Each actor will have footage shot from their home, before the producers use VFX to create new backgrounds. A cinematographer will also work alone to capture exterior footage to show the empty streets of L.A.
CBS promises the entire episode will honor the city's current social distancing requirements.
All Rise is continuing to air previously-filmed new episodes each week. The coronavirus-centric installment will air Monday, May 4 at 9 p.m. on CBS.