CBS’ All Rise is getting even more topical than normal by creating a pandemic episode through existing telecommunications technology.
The series will film an episode that “reflects the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and its impact on the criminal justice system,” including Simone Missick’s Judge Lola Carmichael presiding over a case via her computer. The episode will premiere May 4 and will be stitched together from footage shot in the actors’ homes using Zoom, WebEx, Facetime, social media and more. Backgrounds for scenes, such as the scenes filmed in the actors’ residences, will be created using visual effects technology, and a cinematographer will catch outside footage of a desolate Los Angeles from a vehicle.
The official synopsis features Lola having to preside over a virtual trial between family members while the rest of the team experience life while trying to make sense of the world now that social distancing is a reality.
“After debating the merits of continuing their work during this time, Judge Benner (played by 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, making the first time he tries a case in Lola’s ‘court.’
Elsewhere, 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. Also, 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.”
The series’ executive producer, Greg Spottiswood, believes the episode could be a way to show audiences about strong communities.
“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,” he said in a statement, according to TVLine.