"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" & Other NYC-Based Late Night Shows Forgoing Studio Audiences Over Coronavirus Concerns

We can now add New York City-based late-night shows to the list of programs being impacted by concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In a joint decision made among the shows, 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 will all tape their shows without a live studio audience starting Monday, March 16. TBS' Full Frontal with Samantha Bee will tape tonight'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.

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This week's episodes of TBS' Conan were pre-recorded, with Conan O'Brien taking a two-week, previously-scheduled hiatus. No word yet on if Saturday Night Live will also forgo a live student audience for the remainder of the season. No decisions have been announced regarding Los Angeles-based late-night shows Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Late Show with James Corden, A Little Late with Lilly Singh, and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Here's a look at the networks' statements on the decision:

"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."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.

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