Concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus continues to impact the entertainment industry in unforeseen ways. From production stalls to the postponement of the NBA season to the potential shifting of the Summer Olympics, the TV world is being turned upside down. Talk shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are being affected in huge ways as well, in that many of them are choosing to tape future episodes without live studio audiences, in an effort to prevent the virus' spread.
The wave of shows downgrading their daily tapings to audience-free zones started slowly as the week began. However, a wave of follow-up announcements went public in recent days, with the majority of New York-based productions keeping their studios largely empty, and several Los Angeles-set series going the same route.
It'll be a strange thing to witness when the majority of late night talk shows eschew their audiences, considering laughter and applause breaks are as integral to the experience as celebrity interviews. Below is a list of all the late night talk shows that are going with out audiences soon.
At this point, TBS got the ball rolling the quickest, with Full Frontal having already kept the audience removed from Wednesday's taping. All of the other shows listed above, from Stephen Colbert's to Andy Cohen's, will begin taping episodes in front of empty chairs. At this point, there is no plan for any of the series to change up their production schedules, so viewers will still get to watch new episodes at home.
Spokespeople from NBC, CBS, HBO, TBS and Comedy Central all spoke to the preparations that have been taking place for each of the show's studios, and commit to monitoring the situation as the days pass, per THR. Given the drop in air travel across the country, it will be interesting to see if the guest-booking process will be affected in noticeable ways.
Quite a few different morning and daytime talk shows are going the same route, with plans to hold back on allowing studio audiences for the foreseeable future. Here are all the early-day shows that are either going audience-free soon, or have already started that process.
Ellen Degeneres announced that her show (which may will be suspending live audiences starting Monday. ABC got a quicker jump on things, announcing that Good Morning America and its afternoon counterpart will be going with audiences, along with The View, Tamron Hall and Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest's Live. Today won't be applying any crowd use for its first three hours, and Today with Hoda & Jenna & Friends will forego studio audiences.
Rachel Ray did go without an audience on Wednesday, but it's entering a pre-planned hiatus for the next couple of weeks. Producers will be considering how to handle the situation when the show aims to return.
Whoopi Goldberg gave TV viewers a peek at how that show's process went during Wednesday's taping, and this tweet sums things up accordingly.
Meanwhile, there are still only two game shows that have plans to go audience-free, starting on Monday.
The Price is Right producers (among others) are monitoring the situation, but have not yet decided to make any changes to episode tapings. The game show had suspended production recently, but for completely different reasons.
Considering so many audience members for these kinds of shows are tourists from all over the country and the world at large, it makes a lot of sense that studios execs feel the need to make these talk shows less of a public exchange, while still keeping the productions going.
It's impossible to know how long the novel coronavirus situation will affect the entertainment industry (or anything else), so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for further updates.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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