Flu epidemic episode in 'New Amsterdam' pulled because it was too similar to the current coronavirus outbreak

Ryan Eggold in 'New Amsterdam.' (Photo supplied: DStv)
Ryan Eggold in 'New Amsterdam.' (Photo supplied: DStv)

An episode of the NBC medical drama New Amsterdam has been pulled by network bosses because it centres on a flu epidemic that's too close to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the episode initially titled Pandemic focuses on a deadly flu epidemic in New York.

The episode was re-titled Our Doors Are Always Open was expected to air on 7 April in the US.

Guest star Daniel Dae Kim tested positive for the coronavirus after filming the episode.

Series creator David Schulner said that members of the cast and crew including Daniel got sick. He went on to say that those affected are recovering, reports Indiewire.

In an essay for Deadline, David wrote about the flu epidemic episode that was written last year.

"We showed what happens when our hospital has to erect tents in the parking lot because every bed is taken. When the doctors and nurses and medical techs have been working back to back shifts because their replacements are sick. When panic sets in. When people are quarantined. When people die", he wrote.

On the decision to not air the episode he wrote: "We shot a fictional pandemic episode right before a real pandemic hit. People are dying in real life. Do we really want to watch fake people die too?"

The series follows Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) who becomes the medical director of one of the United States' oldest public hospitals, aiming to reform the neglected facility by tearing up its bureaucracy in order to provide exceptional care to patients. 

New Amsterdam season 1 is available on Showmax.

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