Coronavirus scare forces Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon to shoot talk shows without an audience
Amid the spread of the coronavirus around the globe, many chat show hosts such as Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon will be shooting for the upcoming episodes without a live audience.Updated: Mar 12, 2020 11:15 IST
In the wake of the Coronavirus scare and Tom Hanks being its latest victim, television show host Ellen DeGeneres has announced she will shoot the upcoming episodes with no studio audience. She has also apologised to her fans who were looking forward to join her on the show.
Ellen took to Twitter to make the announcement and wrote, “I have some news. For now, I’ll be shooting my show with no studio audience. To everyone who was looking forward to coming, I’m so sorry. But I’m doing this for the health of my fans, my staff & my crew. (It has nothing to do with a warrant for my arrest in the state of Florida.)”
Ellen had earlier refrained from welcoming her new guest - singer Mandy Moore on the show with a hug and said, “It’s hard because I just forget that we are not supposed to hug.” Calling it a strange phenomenon, she had said, “I think gloves are going to come back in style.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show said it will suspend audience attendance starting Monday. The action won’t affect the talk show’s production schedule, and it will be regularly reviewed, Telepictures Productions said.
The ripple effect of the new coronavirus on the entertainment industry reached late-night and daytime television, a TV fan festival and far beyond to the series Survivor in Fiji. Nickelodeon’s annual Kids’ Choice Awards, set for March 22 in Los Angeles, also is affected.
In a statement Wednesday, NBC said it was suspending live audiences for Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show and Late Night with Seth Meyers starting Monday, citing the safety of guest and employees as the “top priority.” CBS announced that The Late Show with Stephen Colbert also will tape without an in-studio audience, as did Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, starting March 15.
“For the past several weeks, The Late Show producers have consulted daily to share information with other New York-based late night shows, who will also be moving forward without an audience,” CBS said in a statement. The step was taken based on guidance from New York City officials, CBS said, and out of an “abundance of caution regarding” the virus and the uncertainty of the situation.
The shows’ broadcasts will be unaffected. Not all shows will be without a live audience. The Talk on CBS will continue with its regular live audience.
Meanwhile, a postponement was announced for PaleyFest LA 2020, the TV festival that was set to begin Friday and run through March 22 with salutes to shows including Modern Family and The Mandalorian.
The entertainment sector’s response to the unfolding crisis has included cancellation of the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, and delays of events include California’s Coachella festival and the release of the latest James Bond movie.
(With AP inputs)
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