Love & Hip Hop is more than just guilty pleasure TV for many people; it’s a reality TV empire that spans from coast to coast and has featured countless figures in the music industry over the years. But for most of 2020, LHH fans had to survive with no new episodes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the year now in the rearview mirror, many are wondering if LHH will make its grand return in 2021.
‘Love & Hip Hop’ had to shut down production due to the coronavirus
In a May 2020 episode of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, fans got to see just how serious the pandemic had already affected the show. Crew members came out from behind the cameras to tell Scrappy, Spice, LightSkinKeisha, and other stars of the show that they had to shut down production immediately.
That marked the end of season 9 of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, and the last new episode of Love & Hip Hop filmed since early 2020.
There have been several ‘Love & Hip Hop’ specials during COVID
As of May 2020, filming on the franchise has been put on hold, with the remaining episodes of Love & Hop: New York and Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, as well as season 7 of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood and season 4 of Love & Hip Hop: Miami, postponed until further notice.
Everyone behind Love & Hip Hop has been forced to reimagine how they can create more LHH content from the comfort of their homes. Shows including Love & Hip Hop and The Real Housewives are centered around indoor in-person gatherings at homes, restaurants, and bars — in other words, not a COVID-safe environment.
A four-part special called Love & Hip Hop: Secrets Unlocked premiered in January 2021, and features cast members from all four cities talking about things viewers didn’t get to see and much more, all from the comfort of their homes.
Love & Hip Hop: It’s a Love Thing premiered the following month and featured several different LHH couples. The latest LHH event, VH1 Family Reunion: Love & Hip Hop Edition, consists of six episodes and brings together cast members from the four cities.
Will ‘Love & Hip Hop’ be coming back in 2021?
Many of the scenes in Love & Hip Hop take place in restaurants, bars, clubs, and other public places that have been forced to close or modify their indoor capacity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While clubs remain open in cities such as Atlanta and Miami, producers behind the show might be cautious about putting their stars in dangerous situations — and setting a bad example for viewers — by having them film scenes in these crowded situations. Plus, fights that go down on Love & Hip Hop are the opposite of maintaining six feet of distance.
VH1 hasn’t indicated publicly whether production has resumed on any of its Love & Hip Hop franchises. It’s unclear if this will remain in effect until the pandemic finally begins to subside, but given that all four shows have been in a production holding pattern since the pandemic broke out, it’s likely fans may not get to see any new episodes of Love & Hip Hop until 2022.