Starting Monday, March 16, late-night shows across New York and Los Angeles—including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah—will all forego live audiences at their tapings due to coronavirus. The shows and their producers have monitored the situation and communicated accordingly, multiple statements noted.
Wednesday’s episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee will forego a live studio audience as well, the show said in a statement. “Bee says she will instead ‘do the show in front of a mirror, which I actually prefer,’” the statement said. “Despite the efforts being taken, we still have heard from Sean Spicer that tonight's taping ‘was the largest audience ever to witness an [taping of Full Frontal], period, both in person and around the globe.’ Wow!”
In its own statement regarding The Tonight Show and Late Night, NBC said, “The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority... 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.”
Coronavirus has led to event cancellations and postponements across the globe. Broadcasters in other countries, including South Korea, began nixing studio audiences weeks ago. Multiple shows filmed within the United States, including Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, morning shows, and daytime television programs, have begun to do the same.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert will also move forward without a studio audience beginning next week, a rep for the show confirmed.
“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,” the show’s statement reads. “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.”
“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,” the statement continues. “Our top priority is the safety of our guests and staff.”
A representative for HBO provided The Daily Beast with a statement from Last Week Tonight, which confirmed the series, which airs weekly on Sundays, would also forego a studio audience this week. “We are taking this precaution in accordance with best practices as outlined by New York City officials,” the statement said. “We will continue to monitor the situation.”
As with The Late Show, the Comedy Central show’s statement regarding The Daily Show’s live audience hiatus emphasized that no developments within the studio itself have been cause for concern for those planning to attend a show before Monday. “Measures have been taken to protect everyone who enters and works in the office and studio with enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures,” the statement said, adding, “For the past several weeks, The Daily Show producers have communicated daily with other New York-based late night shows, who will also be moving forward without an audience beginning Monday.”
On Thursday, Los Angeles-based productions including Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Late Show with James Corden confirmed they will do the same.
In a statement regarding Kimmel, ABC said, “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.”
CBS confirmed that both Late Late Show and the daytime series The Talk are also following suit.
Representatives for Conan, which films in California, noted that the show will be on hiatus for the next two weeks—but when the comedian returns, a rep told The Daily Beast Tuesday, the network will evaluate the situation once more.
This article has been updated.