Late night is about to get a lot quieter as several late night talk shows have decided to broadcast without a studio audience amid growing concerns over the coronavirus.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, New York-based talk shows “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”, “Late Night with Stephen Colbert”, “Late Night with Seth Meyers”, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”, “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” have all announced they will be continuing without audiences.
Wednesday’s edition of “Full Frontal” will be audience-free, while the other shows will ditch their audiences as of Monday, March 16.
It was announced on Thursday that “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden” have joined the growing list of late night shows to ditch studio audiences, per The Hollywood Reporter.
“The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority,” NBC said in a statement. “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.”
CBS also issued a statement. “Beginning Monday, March 16, ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ will film without a live, in-studio audience,” reads the network’s statement. “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 theatre has been taking all necessary precautions to protect everyone who enters and works in the theatre with enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures. 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.”
In its statement, Comedy Central said: “Our top priority is the safety of our guests and staff. Beginning Monday, March 16, 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.”
HBO also put a statement informing that “Last Week Tonight” will also be without an audience, starting with the episode airing Sunday, March 15. “We are taking this precaution in accordance with best practices as outlined by New York City officials,” HBO said. “We will continue to monitor the situation.”
Daytime talk shows have already taken similar precautions, with “Good Morning America”, “Today”, “Dr. Phil”, “The View” and “Live With Kelly and Ryan” already audience-free.
As THR reports, other shows that feature live audiences are “monitoring the spread of the virus and will make changes as warranted.”