Coronavirus shelves NBC's ‘New Amsterdam’ episode on flu pandemic

Medical drama's plot mirrors current reality for hospitals

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As the coronavirus has sickened hundreds of thousands of people and killed more than 20,000 worldwide, NBC has decided to put an episode of its medical drama “New Amsterdam” that’s eerily close to real events on hold.

David Schulner, the show’s creator, disclosed the decision in an essay for Deadline Wednesday. The episode, originally titled “Pandemic” and later called “Our Doors Are Always Open,” is about a fictional “flu pandemic overtaking our fictional hospital in New York,” according to Schulner.

Anupam Kher in "New Amsterdam," 2020. (NBCUniversal Media, LLC) (NBCUniversal Media, LLC)

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The episode was written in 2019, according to Schulner.

“We showed what happens when our hospital has to erect tents in the parking lot because every bed is taken. When the doctors and nurses and medical techs have been working back to back shifts because their replacements are sick. When panic sets in. When people are quarantined. When people die.

“Sometimes, what the mirror reflects back is too horrifying to look at,” he wrote.

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New York is leading the U.S. in coronavirus cases. Last week, “New Amsterdam” donated all of the show’s protective gear including masks to hospitals and healthcare workers.

The episode hasn’t been canned for good and will likely air on a future date, Deadline reported. In the meantime, NBC will air reruns through April 14. The show has been renewed for three more seasons.

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