CBS' 'All Rise' to Virtually Produce Quarantine Episode

The legal drama is the first scripted series to mount an episode set during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sonja Flemming/CBS

CBS' first-year drama All Rise will resume production for an episode set during the coronavirus pandemic. The virtually produced episode will be the first such one from a current scripted series.

The episode will center on Judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick) conducting a virtual bench trial, with Emily (Jessica Camacho) representing the defendant and Mark (Wilson Bethel) prosecuting. The episode will use FaceTime, Zoom, WebEx and other social media and online technology. It's scheduled to air May 4.

"It’s a unique chance for our All Rise family to band together — in our different homes, even cities — to tell a story about resilience, justice and the power of community," said executive producer Greg Spottiswood.

Co-executive producer Greg Nelson and Spottiswood are writing the episode. Virtual footage will be shot in each of the actors' homes, with producers using visual effects to create the necessary backgrounds. A cinematographer operating solo from a vehicle will also film footage of the empty streets of Los Angeles as it operates under social-distancing rules, with nonessential businesses closed. Executive producer Michael Robin will direct.

Former L.A. County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, a consulting producer on All Rise, is offering insight on how the justice system continues operating during the pandemic. Along with the trial story, the episode will feature the characters adjusting to their new normal, with Mark and Quinn (Lindsey Gort) exploring their relationship while quarantined in different houses, Sara (Lindsay Mendez) taking a side job as a food delivery driver and Judge Benner (Marg Helgenberger) both overseeing the court and learning how to cook.

All Rise is the first scripted series to produce an episode since hundreds of productions shut down in March as the virus spread. The Warner Bros. TV/CBS Television Studios series joins a number of late-night shows in resuming production, while news programs have continued throughout the pandemic, albeit with crews, hosts and anchors working remotely. Some animated series have also kept up production via virtual means.