Proving just how uncertain the coronavirus outbreak is making things across the pop culture landcscape, less than 48 hours after seven talk shows made the decision to tape their shows sans a live studio audience, NBC announced it is suspending production on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers for a minimum of two weeks – at which time NBC will re-evaluate based on government health updates.
Following the NYC-based late-night talk shows' decision and at the urging of California Governor Gavin Newsom to postpone/cancel gatherings of more than 250, LA-based late-night talk shows ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS' The Late Late Show with James Corden, as well as daytime talker The Talk, announced earlier today that they would begin taping without live studio audiences as of Monday, March 16. Earlier this week, CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah announced the same decision and start date.
TBS' Full Frontal with Samantha Bee taped Wednesday's episode without a studio audience. HBO's Last Week Tonight With John Oliver will broadcast its first live show sans studio audience beginning Sunday, March 15. This week's episodes of TBS' Conan were pre-recorded, with Conan O'Brien taking a two-week, previously-scheduled hiatus.
Here's a look at the official statements from the respective networks from earlier this week:
"As a precautionary measure, we have decided to temporarily suspend the live audience for Jimmy Kimmel Live beginning Monday, March 16th. The show will continue to film as scheduled and air dates will not be affected. We will continue to monitor the situation as the safety of our employees and guests are of the utmost importance."
"Out of an abundance of caution, The Late Late Show with James Corden and The Talk will forego their live studio audiences beginning Monday, March 16. At this time, no disruptions to the on-air schedules are expected. We will continue to monitor the situation, as the health and safety of our audience and production staffs is our top priority."
"Beginning Monday, March 16, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert will film without a live, in-studio audience. 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. Per guidance from New York City officials, CBS and The Late Show are doing their part to help decrease the potential rate of transmission in our communities. There have not been any specific developments at The Ed Sullivan Theater to cause concern for audiences with plans to attend the show tonight, tomorrow, or who have attended in recent weeks. For several weeks, the team at the theater has been taking all necessary precautions to protect everyone who enters and works in the theater with enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures."
"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. 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."
"Our top priority is the safety of our guests and staff. Beginning Monday, March 16th, Comedy Central's NY based late night series, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, will film without a live, in-studio audience. This move is being made out of an abundance of caution and concern regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus and per guidance from New York City officials to take appropriate actions. There have been no developments at The Daily Show's studio to cause concern for audience members who have plans to attend the show tonight or tomorrow. Measures have been taken to protect everyone who enters and works in the office and studio with enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures."
"As of this coming Sunday, March 15, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver will film without a live, in-studio audience. We are taking this precaution in accordance with best practices as outlined by New York City officials. We will continue to monitor the situation."
"Due to growing fears over COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee will tape tonight's episode without a live studio audience."