Superstorm Sandy has significantly affected a number of industries, but — thanks to New York City’s status as an entertainment hub — the film, television, and theater worlds were particularly hard-hit. The Chicago Tribune estimates that the storm has already cost the industry “millions of dollars,” with more steep bills to come as the recovery process begins. Here, a guide to Sandy's impact on the showbiz world:
1. The box office dips
The four new films released last weekend, which included Oscar hopeful Cloud Atlas and horror flick Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, saw their debuts overshadowed by hurricane preparations on the east coast. “It's hard to gauge the actual impact of Hurricane Sandy,” says Box Office Mojo, but, at worst, the oncoming storm “may have suppressed business by about 10 percent.”
2. More than a dozen TV shows stop shooting
As Sandy battered the east coast, New York City officials revoked all filming permits on Monday and Tuesday for “continuing safety precautions,” reports The Huffington Post. The 21 shuttered productions included 30 Rock, Gossip Girl, Elementary, Law & Order: SVU, and The Daily Show, as well as shows that have yet to air, including the CW’s Sex and the City prequel, The Carrie Diaries.
3. Networks air reruns instead of new episodes
It wasn't just TV actors and production crews who had to work around the superstorm; networks opted to air reruns of shows like How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, and Gossip Girl, concerned that ratings for new episodes would suffer due to east coast power outages and local stations' decisions to air news coverages. NBC, CBS, and ABC also extended their traditional half-hour news programs to a full hour in order to cover the storm in more detail, reports the Los Angeles Times.
4. Late night shows tape without audiences
Jimmy Kimmel Live, which normally tapes in Los Angeles but was scheduled for a week-long shoot in Brooklyn, was canceled on Monday due to the storm. But fellow late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman found a unique solution to the logistical problems: They taped without live audiences — and thrived, says Vulture, arguing that the need to improvise reawakened Letterman's absurdist spirit. Quipped the host: “We felt like we'd be putting the audience at jeopardy, if they had to sit through the show, and I said, 'Hell, we've been doing that for 30 years’."
5. Broadway goes dark
Live events were canceled all across the east coast, but the biggest single blow to the entertainment industry struck New York's theater scene, where Broadway and Off-Broadway shows faced three days of cancelations. On Wednesday, hit shows like The Book of Mormon, Once, and The Lion King resumed, says The Hollywood Reporter, though theatergoers continue to struggle with public transportation problems.
6. Netflix Instant streaming jumps 20 percent
A small silver lining in the storm cloud: On Monday, there was a sharp uptick in the number people using Netflix’s Instant Streaming service, a 20 percent jump over the previous Monday, according to Digital First Media. A Netflix spokesperson confirmed that the increase was centered in New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore, where subscribers lucky enough to have power searched for diversion from the crisis.
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