New Amsterdam, a medical drama set in New York City, was slated to feature an episode where a flu outbreak caused major issues in New York City. The episode was pulled out of respect for those dealing with the real-life illness. Showrunner David Schulner wrote an emotional letter to Deadline, describing his reasons for discontinuing, his frustration with public response, and the inadvertent similarities between the disallowed episode and real conditions within his city. In it, he said, “The world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts.” He went on to say, “Sometimes, what the mirror reflects back is too horrifying to look at.” On his choice to pull the episode, he said, “We shot a fictional pandemic episode right before a real pandemic hit. People are dying in real life. Do we really want to watch fake people die too?”
NYC was among the first of the Covid-19 epicenters. The timing was particularly poor considering that there was a Coronavirus outbreak on set. A recurring guest star tested positive for the virus and three crew members became infected.
New Amsterdam is the only medical drama filming in New York, so it was uniquely posed to provide aid to NYC’s overloaded medical facilities. When the city began to run out of masks, gloves, and other items, the show donated their stock.
The name of the episode was changed from “Pandemic” to “Our Doors Are Always Open” before eventually being cancelled altogether. The show will play reruns for two weeks until its next new episode airs on April 17.
The cancelled episode will air at an undetermined date in the future.