When Was ‘Million Dollar Beach House’ Filmed? The Pandemic Didn’t Affect It

When Selling Sunset premiered on Netflix in 2019, no one could have predicted the higher-end version of an HGTV real estate show would turn out to be such a juicy soap. But that’s just what happened, with each season more popular than the last. In light of the series’ growing popularity, it was inevitable that there would be more. Million Dollar Beach House is the first into the breach, but fans have many questions about the new series. For one thing, when was Million Dollar Beach House filmed? For a show arriving in mid-2020, everyone seems remarkably unconcerned about the coronavirus.

It’s a fair question since reality series airing this summer has all addressed the pandemic, the new rules about social distancing, safety precautions, etc. Big Brother, for instance, currently airing on CBS, addresses the topic regularly. But the up and coming real estate agents on Million Dollar Beach House don’t even seem aware of it. That’s because Netflix didn’t film Million Dollar Beach House recently.

Viewers aren’t used to the idea of TV series filmed in advance the way movies are. That’s because most broadcast shows still follow the same model that’s been in place since the 1950s and 60s. Back then, series were considered disposable entertainment and produced as it aired. This small window between filming and airing is why the pandemic forced series like Riverdale and Grey’s Anatomy to cut their seasons short.

Unlike broadcast, Netflix doesn’t film within a few weeks of shows airing. The idea of the "binge" model of dropping all episodes at once meant filming had to be complete before a show’s premiere. This decision to come at the process differently accidentally made the streamer "pandemic proof" as it were, with filming completed at least a year out for most series.

In April, Co-CEO Ted Sarandos revealed Netflix had filmed nearly everything planned for 2020 before the pandemic began.

According to The Verge, Sarandos said:

That slate of shows finished long before masks were mandatory and social distancing was necessary includes Million Dollar Beach House. It makes the show one of the ultimate reality show escapist series out currently, a reminder of how it was in the before times. Considering Million Dollar Beach House is all about soapy escapist real estate daydreams, it’s just one more bonus for Netflix’s newest show.

All six episodes of Million Dollar Beach House are streaming now.

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