Multiple late-night talk shows taped in New York City will forgo live audiences for the foreseeable future, due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
Beginning Monday, March 16, the following series will tape new episodes without a studio audience: NBC’s The Tonight Show and Late Night, CBS’ The Late Show, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, TBS’ Full Frontal, HBO’s Last Week Tonight and Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. (There will also be no live audience at Wednesday’s Full Frontal episode.)
“The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority,” NBC said in a statement. “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.”
CBS added in its own statement that “this move is being made out of an abundance of caution regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the uncertainty of the situation for future weeks.”
Concerns over coronavirus are rapidly affecting the TV industry. Within just a few days, several other unscripted shows have opted to lose their live audiences, including game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, as well as many daytime series including Live With Kelly and Ryan, The Tamron Hall Show and The View.
Warner Bros., meanwhile, has begun screening studio audience members attending their sitcoms and talk shows: “In response to the impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus), we are asking all guests to confirm that neither they nor any member of their household have traveled within the past three weeks to or through a location that has been deemed ‘Level 3’ by the CDC. These new and temporary precautionary measures have been put in place out of an abundance of caution and out of concern for the health and safety of our guests and staff.”
As for CBS’ The Neighborhood, the show only has one episode left to tape. CBS Television is “assessing the situation daily,” but “has not made a formal decision about the last show.”