Benson’s Back! Meredith’s Masked! Stars Return to Set Amid COVID-19 Pandemic


    Getting back to work! The stars and crew of Law & Order: SVU, Riverdale and many other shows have headed back to set amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although it’s a very late start for many series — fall episodes usually begin filming in July — “fall TV” looks different in 2020.

    Supernatural was one of the first to return to filming, with Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins and more of the cast heading to Vancouver in August. The show, which was originally set to end its 15-season run in 2019, wrapped early last spring due to the pandemic. At the time, the network chose to hold seven episodes to debut in fall 2020 — five of which were already shot. They returned to set to film their final two episodes. (Supernatural returns to The CW Thursday, October 8, at 8 p.m. ET and the series finale will air on November 19.)

    Another CW hit, Riverdale, pushed its premiere date to January but the stars are ready to go. After two weeks of quarantining in Canada, the cast began filming season 5 on September 14.

    Lili Reinhart recently shared her thoughts about returning to set and having to be stuck north of the border due to COVID-19 travel restrictions until after Christmas.

    “I genuinely feel like a prisoner, going back to work, because I cannot leave Canada,” she told Nylon in August. “That doesn’t feel good. You can’t go home for Thanksgiving, can’t visit your family. No one can come visit you unless they quarantine for two weeks. It just feels f–ked.”

    Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order: SVU and many more kicked off filming as well. Scroll through the gallery below for the full list.


    Allison Janney revealed via Instagram that season 8 of Mom began filming on September 14. “It’s a whole new territory, but we’re excited for Season 8 to begin,” she said in the video, which showed the cast — sans Anna Faris, who is not returning.

    Courtesy of Allison Janney Instagram

    Law & Order: SVU

    “It’s all happening. Back in hair chair with @cassihurdhair,” Mariska Hargitay posted via Instagram on September 14. “First day of shooting season 22!! Making history. So grateful to be back at work.” She added multiple hashtags with the photo, including, “WearAMask,” “#Safety1st” and “DailyTesting.” Jamie Gray Hyder also shared a Boomerang on her Instagram Story of herself in a mask on set. 

    Courtesy of Mariska Hargitay/Instagram


    The CW drama began filming on September 14, one day after the cast went to dinner for Reinhart’s 24th birthday. “Annnnnd #Riverdale is back,” creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa posted via Instagram with a shirtless photo of KJ Apa as Archie. “First scene up of Season 5: Archie in a steam room. Even in a Covid world, some things never change.”

    Courtesy of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa/Instagram

    Grey’s Anatomy

    “First time back in my scrubs… since we shut down filming 7000 healthcare workers have died from Covid,” Ellen Pompeo posted via Instagram on September 8, posing in her scrubs and mask next to costar Richard Flood. “I dedicate my season 17 to all who have fallen and to everyone of you who by the grace of God is still standing… this season is for you with humility and a bit of humor to get us through and endless amounts of gratitude. I hope we do you proud.”

    Courtesy of Ellen Pompeo/Instagram

    Outer Banks

    Season 2 of the Netflix hit began filming on August 31, the cast revealed via Twitter and Instagram photos. “Put a lot of effort into the last one. Also, WERE BACK YO,” Chase Stokes posted on September 4.



    Ackles, Padalecki and co. returned to Vancouver to film the final episodes of Supernatural in August. “The things I do for Sam Winchester,” Padalecki posted via Instagram on September 10, showing himself getting a COVID-19 test. On September 10, both lead actors shared that they were heading to the final day of filming the series finale.

    Courtesy of Jared Padalecki/Instagram

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