The Creator Of ‘OITNB’ Is Making A New Netflix Series About Social Distancing

by Ani Bundel
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Getty Images

On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the world changed very suddenly. The one-two-three punch of Trump's speech, the NBC shutting down, and Tom Hanks announcing his had been diagnosed with COVID-19 seemed to stop the world. By Friday of that week, businesses around the country had moved to remote work, unemployment began to soar, and "social distance" became the phrase of the year. Such a huge shift in modern life always inspires art, as people process the experience. The latest entry, Netflix's Social Distance series, is taking it a step further, creating a show about what people are going through, created by people going through it.

Viewers should brace themselves, as series delving into the rise of Zoom, remote workdays, and masks in public will most likely be the subject of several films and TV series before this is all over. It's just a matter of time before movies focusing on the real-life consequences of the pandemic hit theaters. But Hollywood is hampered by being shut down, and the slower process of getting films off the ground.

TV, especially streaming, is in a better position to get shows out based on the new world. The team behind The Office is already working on a comedy about a business gone full remote/working from home. (Call it "The Office minus The Office.") Now Netflix has a series in the works, with a more serious-minded drama called Social Distance.

The streaming service announced the new series via it's "See What's Next" Twitter account.

The series is the brainchild of Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan. She will be joined by OITNB producers Tara Herrmann and Hilary Weisman Graham, plus Blake McCormick from Single Parents. The accompanying note from the foursome reads:

Our job as storytellers is to reflect reality, and in this new, bizarre, bewildering reality we are all experiencing, we feel passionate about finding connection as we all remain at a distance. We’ve been inspired to create an anthology series that tells stories about the current moment we are living through — the unique, personal, deeply human stories that illustrate how we are living apart, together. The experience of social distancing is currently universal, but no individual story is the same. Through a broad spectrum of tales and moments, some seismic and some mundane, we hope to capture a moment in time. And we hope that Social Distance will help people feel closer to one another.

But what is just as important is how the show will be made. Graham, who serves as showrunner, will work with director Diego Velasco helming episodes where the cast film themselves from home, working from scripts written by remote collaboration.

No cast has been announced as of yet. Social Distance will likely not stream until at least 2021.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.