Passions Alum’s Series ‘neXt’ Hit by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) When Crew Member Tests Positive
New FOX series has finished filming amid health crisis.
Fox’s upcoming series neXt hit a speedbump Wednesday, as one of the production team members has tested for coronavirus, Soaps.com has learned. The series currently co-stars former Passions actor Gerardo Celasco (who now uses his birth name and formerly was billed as Adrian Bellani when he played Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald on the soap), along with Mad Men‘s John Slattery and Fernanda Andrade, and focuses on a tech CEO who pairs with a Homeland cybersecurity agent to stop an artificial intelligence crisis. neXt finished filming on March 4, and has not yet been scheduled for its debut.
“We have been notified by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) that a crew member on neXt, which concluded production in Chicago last week, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is receiving treatment,” a Disney Television Studios rep told Deadline in a statement. “We are working closely with the CDPH to identify and contact all individuals who came in direct contact with the crew member, and are taking precautions to protect all who work on our productions.”
According to Deadline, the infected individual is originally from California, and traveled to Chicago to help film the show. As noted in the statement, the ailing person is a member of the crew, not cast. “That person came into contact with other cast and crew at Cinespace [the studio where neXt filmed] and possibly elsewhere,” the actors union SAG/AFTRA said in a statement. “We are working with the production company regarding this matter to determine the timeline and scope of potential exposure to members and others. We are monitoring the situation closely and will update our statement periodically as warranted.”
Celasco was the second actor on Passions to play Miguel, taking over the role from Jesse Metcalfe in 2006. He was replaced by Blair Redford the following year. Since then, he’s recurred in roles on shows like How to Get Away with Murder and Bones, and also has another role on the upcoming series Swimming with Sharks for Quibi.
Cinespace Film Studios is where other series, including Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med and Empire film. According to Block Club Chicago, the tenants of the facility are now disinfecting production offices, and officials at the Chicago Department of Public Health are working to identify any others who came into contact with the neXt worker.
Noted one Empire crew worker, “It makes us all worried because we use communal bathrooms, and people go between offices to talk. That’s what makes this nerve-wracking. How are we going to protect ourselves?”