(LOS ANGELES) — American Idol began production on its fourth season for ABC on Monday with strict safety precautions will be in place to protect the judges, contestants and crew amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining its grand scale, according to Deadline.
The judges auditions, for instance, which usually take place throughout the country, will be limited to a number of locations throughout California.
Judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry — who gave birth in August — are back with host Ryan Seacrest, but will sit at separate tables. Zoning will also reportedly be in place for interacting with others.
Contestants will be traveling to each of the auditions from all over the country, but with rigorous health and safety protocols to ensure that the set is as safe as possible.
The cast and crew are all being tested in accordance with local, state, union and industry guidelines from organizations including the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, federal, state, local government and health agencies and medical professionals, according to Deadline. There will also be social distancing on set and cast and crew will be required to wear masks when not on camera.
Idol was one of the first major entertainment formats to tape amid the COVID-19 production shutdown, wrapping up its last season with a series of episodes filmed remotely.
A premiere date has yet to be announced.
By George Costantino
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