Coronavirus: Which Morning, Daytime TV Hosts Are Working from Home Versus the Studio amid Outbreak
Here's a breakdown of what's happening with every major morning and daytime news and talk show amid the global pandemic
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought the world to a halt, shutting down a sea of television and film productions in its wake.
That’s included popular daytime shows like The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wendy Williams Show, Strahan and Sara and Keke, Dr. Phil and more — though there have been a number of programs, particularly morning news shows, that have continued.
Just because they’re in production doesn’t mean they’ve all been full-staffed, though. In some cases, hosts have taken time off to be home with their families. Other shows have seen hosts working remotely, while a few have braved things and gone into their offices directly.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening with every major morning and daytime news and talk show:
Studio 1A is looking very different these days. That’s because Hoda Kotb is the only anchor of the Today show currently working from NBC’s iconic offices, with Savannah Guthrie co-anchoring the daily broadcast from a virtual studio set up in the basement of her home.
Guthrie made the decision to work from home just before the March 18 broadcast, telling viewers on air that she had come down with a “mild sore throat and runny nose” and wanted to self-isolate out of “an abundance of caution” and to “really model the vigilance that the CDC is asking of all of us right now.”
“I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but we are in different times aren’t we?” Guthrie said.
Since then, Guthrie has continued to appear on Today remotely.
She’s not the only one calling in, either. NBC anchors Al Roker and Craig Melvin have also been broadcasting from their respective homes, Roker doing his daily weather reports from his kitchen and Melvin calling in daily for the show’s 3rd Hour of Today. The two began doing their jobs remotely as a precaution, after they were informed a member of 3rd Hour of Today had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Jenna Bush Hager — who anchors Today‘s fourth hour — has remained at home to practice social distancing after taking a week off for her kids’ spring break.
“I miss you,” she told her Instagram followers on March 20, alongside a video with daughters Mila, 6, and Poppy, 4. “I miss my colleagues. I miss the show, and I hope to be back soon, whether from here or from the studio, but I just wanted to let you know we’re doing great — as great as can be.”
Willie Geist came into the studio for Sunday Today. As for the rest of the Today team, they’re all home for different reasons. Carson Daly is with his wife Siri, who is pregnant with their fourth child — a girl, due any day. Sheinelle Jones is recovering from vocal surgery, having removed a polyp on her vocal cord that was harming her ability to speak. And Dylan Dreyer is still on maternity leave following the birth of her second child, Oliver George, on Jan. 2.
Good Morning America
As for Good Morning America, the biggest change on the ABC morning show hasn’t been with the staff — it’s been in the set.
Michael Strahan, Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, and George Stephanopoulos were all still delivering the news as of Monday. They were all just sitting a little further from one another, spacing themselves six feet away both behind the anchor desk and, later, on the set’s chairs.
Ginger Zee is staying at home for now, though, after two staff members at her 4-year-old son Adrian Benjamin’s school tested positive for COVID-19. Adrian had a fever himself, Zee said on Twitter on Monday, but is on the med. “We are all feeling great now but will #StayHomeFor everyone else and follow [CDC] guidelines,” she wrote.
CBS This Morning
Like Good Morning America, CBS This Morning also changed up its set a bit following the coronavirus outbreak, seating anchors Gayle King, Anthony Mason, and Tony Dokoupil further apart than usual.
However, all three have continued to come into the studio each day, the trio hosting the show together on Monday.
Live with Kelly and Ryan
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest returned to the airways on Monday after a week-long break — the two hosting their syndicated daytime talk show from their own separate homes, via video feed. “We have taken all the precautions to be in different places, as you can see,” Seacrest said. “We’re trying to put on the best show that we can to be with our viewers, our friends, and our fans.”
“I’m giving you a big virtual hut and a virtual hug from all of our audience members,” Ripa said. “This, for the time, is our new normal.”
The hosts also opened up about the mixed emotions they were feeling during the outbreak. “We are anxious, we are a little bit afraid, we at times can get frustrated, but we’re trying to make the best of it,” Seacrest said.
“Be good to each other. Be good to one another,” Ripa stressed. “This is what we are made of. We will get through this together.”
In-studio production for the nationally-syndicated talk show is currently suspended due to coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped Tamron Hall from connecting with audiences and viewers across the country.
Every weekday, on the show’s Instagram, Hall has been broadcasting live from her New York City home at 1:30 p.m. ET, checking in with a slew of guests like emergency physician Dr. Darien Sutton-Ramsey and nurses Brady Heuer and Kristen Dirksen – all who joined Hall on Monday’s show.
“The team is working incredibly hard to find great stories that we can talk about to keep the conversation going, because so much of the spirit of our show is about community and the ability to stay connected,” said Hall in a statement. “We are looking for stories to inform, to make us smile, and give us hope.”
In addition, Hall is being joined by a special co-host: her 10-month-old son Moses, who provides a bright spot during dark times.
The ABC news talk show has already been touted as “the most important political show in America.” So it shouldn’t come as a surprise if The View looks a little more like CNN these days, with more than half of its panel anchoring the show remotely.
Whoopi Goldberg was the first to start working from home, moderating The View from her New Jersey abode beginning with the show’s March 18 episode.
The 64-year-old star nearly died last year after coming down with pneumonia and sepsis, conditions that left her hospitalized for weeks. And though she had bee given the “all clear” to go to work from her doctor, she decided to stay away, citing “inconsistent messages” from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
“[You have] mayor who’s saying, ‘We’re going to be in place for now, New York’s going to get locked down’ and then you have Gov. Cuomo said, ‘Well, that’s not going to happen,’ ” Goldberg said. “I just felt like, if I was going to really try to figure out whether it was okay to come in, my brain said, ‘You know what, until they can get themselves together — the governor and the mayor — until they can figure out what they’re doing, I should not go in.’ So that’s why I am still here.”
“I am healthy,” Goldberg added. “My doctor was very annoyed with me. He said, ‘I just gave you the okay, why are you back?’ I said, ‘Because I need an okay okay.’ So he gave me the okay okay, but I just felt like, with all the inconsistency between the governor and the mayor, it wasn’t good for me.”
Meanwhile, View co-host Joy Behar — after taking a week off out of her own concerns — appeared on Monday’s show via video feed from her home. While she also didn’t have any COVID-19 symptoms, she had made the precautionary move to isolate due to the urging of her daughter.
“I’m in a higher-risk group because of my age, but I’m perfectly healthy,” Behar, 77, said before her break. “I’m doing this myself. Luckily I don’t have to worry about childcare and things like that and also, I have enough money to take off some time.”
And Meghan McCain? She missed Monday’s episode, but will be back remotely, isolating after learning she is expecting her first child.
“I’m fortunate that my employer, ABC, has allowed me and my co-hosts to work remotely,” she wrote on Sunday. “I am indebted to our producers and crew. I also want to acknowledge the heroes — the doctors, nurses, grocery and pharmacy workers, journalists, police officers, firemen and military — who are on the front lines of this fight.”
“Please stay safe,” she added. “Wash your hands and avoid public gatherings and I will continue to see you each morning on The View.”
There are still two people in The View‘s New York studio: Sunny Hostin and former View co-host Sara Haines, who has been filling in as a guest co-host for most of the month. Though they’re together, neither Hostin nor Haines are sitting anywhere near one another, the two social distancing on opposite ends of The View table.
Coronavirus isn’t going to stop Dr. Mehmet Oz!
The health expert has continued production on his show, though he is shooting from a makeshift studio in his home’s basement so that he and his team can practice “social distancing” — something he said he hopes his followers “are all doing, too.”
Oz’s shift comes after a staffer on the show tested positive for coronavirus. The syndicated show’s last in-studio filming was Wednesday, the day the employee was diagnosed.
Being a show focused on wellness, Dr. Oz plans to pack his show’s programming with the latest news on the COVID-19 outbreak. He’ll begin each episode with coronavirus-related updates, and then move to new pre-recorded, previously unaired segments that were taped before filming was paused.
Monday’s episode, for example, saw Dr. Oz speaking with infectious disease specialist Dr. Didier Raoult, about the study of two FDA-approved drugs used in combination for treatment of the illness.
Earlier this month, the CBS talk show announced March 13 that it had “decided to suspend production for now. We hope to be back LIVE soon. In the meantime, enjoy some of our favorite episodes starting Mon., 3/16. We can still laugh and share moments. We’re in this together. #thetalk.”
But although in-studio production was suspended, the ladies of The Talk have continued to engage with audiences regularly.
Beginning the week of Monday, March 16, Carrie Ann Inaba hosted an Instagram Live daily from her home at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and was joined by co-hosts Eve and Sharon Osbourne. On Friday’s Instagram Live show, Sheryl Underwood and Camila McConaughey also joined the fun.
On Sunday, the show asked fans to tune in for “The Talk Chat Room this week on Instagram with special guests Dorit Kemsley, Candace Cameron Bure, Tyra Banks, Julianne Hough, and Raven Symoné! All week starting at 3 pm ET / 12 pm PT.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.