One of New Zealand's most iconic television shows faces a race against the clock, not dissimilar from the trope we often see on soap operas.
The show is rapidly burning through its stockpile of pre-recorded content and will ultimately run out unless the team is able to return to the set to produce more episodes.
"The Covid-19 lockdown has enforced a filming hiatus for now, but having made the early decision to reduce the number of episodes per week, we have enough content [to take us to around the middle of the year]," said TVNZ director of content Cate Slater.
"Like the rest of New Zealand, we await changes to the alert level, when it's safe to recommence filming we'll be straight back into production."
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Due to the Government's restrictions on non-essential services, Shortland Street production company South Pacific Pictures closed all its sets in late March.
Slater says the goal is to keep the show on-air for as long as possible. But the broadcaster does have a backup content plan in the event it runs out of episodes.
Shortland Street isn't the only show to have been hit by the global halt in production.
Long-running international shows Coronation Street, Home and Away and Ellen are taking a break from filming, while US dramas Grey's Anatomy and The Walking Dead have paused mid-season.
TVNZ has also had to push back the launch of its highly-anticipated Black Hands series, which documents the Bain family killings and there'll also be a delay in the Sunday Theatre dramas.
These pressures come at a time when Kiwi eyeballs are fixed to television screens.
Data from television industry body Think TV showed New Zealanders spent an average 2 hours and 47 minutes watching TV in the week of March 29 to April 4. This is up more than half an hour from the same time last year.
Overall audiences have also shot up massively, with more than 1.2 million New Zealanders tuning into prime time over the last two weeks. This is up more than 200,000 on average figures just a few weeks ago.
To meet the massive demand for content amid a drought of new programming, television broadcasters have had to find innovative ways to fill slots.
TVNZ has, for instance, launched a daily exercise show with Les Mills as well as announcing a new cooking show shot from the house of Nadia Lim.
It's questionable whether either of these shows would've been given the green light under normal circumstances, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
International broadcasters are also enduring production woes and have similarly had to sacrifice the studio-quality production standards viewers have become accustomed to.
Earlier this week, CBS courtroom drama All Rise announced that it would use Zoom, FaceTime and a number of other tools to film and broadcast an episode featuring the characters dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 isolation rules.
The Covid-19 restrictions have quickly shifted notions on the sheer quantity of television available.
After years of people complaining that there was simply too much programming to watch across linear and streaming channels, broadcasters and streaming services are now suddenly concerned that they may run out of content.
In response to concerns that the surge in on-demand might overwhelm broadband facilities, Netflix and YouTube have cut back on their streaming quality in New Zealand and abroad.
Movie strategies are also quickly changing. Films that were previously set for theatrical release will now be made available to rent online. Bloomberg reports that Frozen 2, Invisible Man and Trolls: World Tour are just some of the titles that will now be offered on streaming services months ahead of schedule.
In the short term, major streaming services such as Netflix will have enough in reserve to keep adding new content every few weeks. But it, too, will face longer-term issues if it isn't able to get major shows back into production soon.
The same applies to Amazon, which has had to hit the pause button on its Lord of the Rings series, which was being filmed in Auckland.
If these production clampdowns stretch on for months, viewers may have to get used to dusting off a view classics for a dose of nostalgia.
If in doubt, there's always an old episode of Friends worth a second, third or 15th watch.