While the vast majority of network TV productions at the moment are shut down, CBS’ All Rise has come up with a unique way to continue the story. For their upcoming May 4 episode, the series is going to tell the story of a “virtual trial.”
In a press release today, CBS confirmed that this episode was “written and inspired by current events,” and will be produced in “groundbreaking fashion for a scripted series, filmed extensively using FaceTime, WebEx, Zoom and other available social media and online technology.” Everything will be done remotely, meaning that it will follow all recommended social distancing strategies with the safety of the cast and crew in mind. Here is more of what the network had to say:
Virtual footage will be shot in each of the series regular’s homes, and producers plan to use VFX to create the necessary backgrounds. In addition, a cinematographer operating solo from a vehicle will capture exterior footage that reflects the desolate environment that currently exists on the streets and in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. The entire episode will be shot abiding by social distancing rules and technologies taking place in the world as it exists now. Executive producer Michael Robin will direct.
In the episode, after debating the merits of continuing their work during this time, Judge Benner (Marg Helgenberger) authorizes Lola to preside over a virtual trial that involves a dispute between brothers and a stolen car. Emily (Jessica Camacho) represents the defendant, a graffiti artist, and Mark (Wilson Bethel) prosecutes for the D.A.’s office, marking the first time he tries a case in Lola’s “court.” Also, Mark and Quinn (Lindsey Gort) continue to explore their romantic (and sexual) relationship while quarantined in separate homes; Judge Benner oversees court from afar and struggles to learn how to cook; and Sara (Lindsay Mendez) has to balance her day job with a new side hustle as a food delivery driver. Luke (J. Alex Brinson) and Emily’s relationship is taxed by separation, and germaphobe and type-A Sherri (Ruthie Ann Miles) contends with the new world (dis)order.
This is a fascinating idea for the network to take on, and we understand the ambition behind it. All Rise is one of the few scripted shows that can actually work within this format, and this is an episode that could draw a great deal of attention to the series. While we do think that a lot of viewers are looking to television to escape, this is a chance to show that the world is moving forward and not everything is at a standstill.
What do you think about All Rise producing a virtual episode?
Be sure to share right now in the comments below! Meanwhile, remember to stick around in the event you want some other news on the series. (Photo: CBS.)
This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.