All New York City-Based Late-Night Shows Join Other TV Productions Filming Without Audiences
The nighttime shows join several other daytime shows and broadcasts taking similar precautionary measures against the coronavirus outbreak
Like many other shows and productions, all New York City-based late-night programs have decided to pull live audiences due to growing concerns amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, according to several reports.
CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and Fox News Channel’s The Greg Gutfeld Show all announced on Wednesday that they would tape their broadcasts without an audience to protect against the quickly-spreading virus.
Bee’s program immediately implemented the new policy on Wednesday night’s show. Gutfeld plans to begin on Saturday, March 14, Variety reports, while Oliver and Cohen will both scratch live audiences beginning Sunday, March 15. The rest of the shows will all be audience-free starting Monday, March 16.
NBC has not yet revealed if they will also tape Saturday Night Live without a studio audience. The show’s next broadcast is not scheduled until March 28.
“The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. As a precautionary measure, starting Monday, March 16, we have decided to suspend live audiences for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers,” NBC has said in a statement to Deadline. “Per guidance from New York City officials, the company is hoping to do its part to help to decrease the rate of transmission in our communities. Our shows will continue filming on their regular schedule, and currently, there will be no impact on air dates.”
None of the shows have reported any staffers or crew members with exposure to the virus, but are simply taking precautionary measures to help contain the virus spread.
The decision for the New York-based nighttime shows comes after several daytime shows, including The View, decided to film without studio audiences. Whoopi Goldberg called it “a historic day” when the morning talk show went audience-free on Wednesday.
“The coronavirus situation is still developing and for the first time ever, as you can see, we made the decision not to have a studio audience,” she said while sitting alongside Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain. “This is unprecedented, this has never happened on The View.”
On Wednesday, The World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 has now been officially categorized as a pandemic — which is “the worldwide spread of a new disease,” for which people do not have immunity and spreads globally at an alarming speed and level of severity, according to the organization.
“Viruses that have caused past pandemics typically originated from animal influenza viruses,” the organization explains on their website.
Additionally, President Donald Trump addressed the coronavirus outbreak in a speech from the Oval Office, announcing his decision to ban on travel Europe.
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump announced on Wednesday evening.
“These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings,” the president added.
The new rule will go into effect Friday at midnight. Trump added that the restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom, or to legal permanent residents and immediate family members of U.S. citizens.
As of Thursday morning, there have been at least 1,269 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 37 deaths in the U.S., according to a New York Times database.
More than half of those who have been infected globally have recovered.