Czech Television preparing new sitcom about coronavirus lockdown

Photo: Czech Television

“One house, three generations and a global pandemic,” that’s the focus of a new six-episode sitcom currently being prepared by Czech Television, entitled ‘Love in the Time of Coronavirus’. The show, alluding to Gabriel García Márquez’s famous novel ‘Love in the Time of Cholera, will be set in several Prague apartments during the coronavirus lockdown.

‘Love in the Time of Coronavirus’,  photo: Czech Television
It is scheduled to air on April 27 on the Czech Television’s website. I discussed the details with its producer, Tomáš Baldýnský:

“The will be about us, the people living in quarantine. The concept of the show was created in such a way that it could be produced, because of the strict regulations.

“We needed to develop a system of shooting which includes a very small number of people operating everything, so it is really just a skeleton crew. When we started to develop it, we had to find at least some actors who are living together, so they don’t have to wear a mask.

“The story is about two sets of characters. The first is husband and wife, who are on the verge of a break-up, but the quarantine locks them in their flat. The second pair of characters is a young boy and an old guy.

“Although they basically don’t know each other, they have to take care of each other, because they don’t have anybody else, since the parents of the young guy are stuck somewhere abroad. So we had to develop it like this and this is what we came up with.”

As far as I know, you only have the script for the opening episode of the series and you have called on viewers to participate in creating the other episodes.

Tomáš Baldýnský,  photo: Czech Television
“That’s right. We wanted it to be premiered during the quarantine, or during the coronavirus crisis, so we have very little time. We have to write the script within a week and within the next one, we have to shoot the episode, complete it and screen it. So we asked the audience to help us come up with the ideas, and we have been flooded with ideas.”

How will you go about the shooting to comply with the stringent security measures that are in place here in the Czech Republic and where will the shooting take place?

“We rented a building which is empty, so our actors and our crew will not be interacting with any other living beings. We will all be wearing face-masks.

“When the actors take off their face-masks, we will use robotic-operated cameras, so the cameramen will set-up the cameras and leave the room. Only then will the actors come in, take off their face- masks and only then will we start shooting.”

When is the show due to be aired?

“It should premiere on April 27 on Czech TV. It will be on Monday, at nine p.m. on CT 1.”