“Saturday Night Live” announced its decision to cancel the live studio audience just hours before the Paul Rudd-hosted episode began taping.
The late night comedy show is taking an “abundance of caution,” also limiting its cast and crew.
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“SNL” will continue Saaturday’s show without a live audience due to the spike in New York City’s COVID-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant.
The NBC show made the announcement on its social media channels nearly eight hours before tonight’s episode starring host Paul Rudd and musical guest Charli XCX began its scheduled filming.
“Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and the show will have limited cast and crew,” the show’s online post read. “The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol.”
Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of “Saturday Night Live” and the show will have limited cast and crew.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) December 18, 2021
A few hours later, Charli XCX announced that she will no longer be performing on the episode “due to the limited crew at tonight’s taping.” She shared the news on her Instagram, revealing that she is “devastated and heartbroken” after she worked hard with her team “all week alongside the snl team to bring the most amazing musical performance to life.”
The singer added, “I am currently safe and healthy but of course very sad.”
There is no news as to whether or not the show will find a musical replacement for the episode.
“SNL” welcomed its live audience back in studio for the duration of season 47, which began airing in October. During the spring of 2020, amid the coronavirus outbreak, the show aired three episodes which were filmed remotely, before returning to Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza for season 46.