The COVID-19 coronavirus has already led to changes for quite a lot of the entertainment industry, as studios and franchises take early precautions to prevent the virus' spread. According to a new report from Variety, NBC is making a new decision in the wake of the pandemic's spread, suspending production on both The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers. Beginning on Friday, March 13th, both series will suspend production through a previously-planned hiatus, which was initially scheduled for the week of March 23rd. Both series were scheduled to have episodes on the week of March 16th, but those seem to have been canceled.
The Tonight Show is expected to tape an original episode for Thursday night, with guests including Dr. Oz, Mandy Moore, and Dan DeHaan. Late Night will air an encore on Thursday night, but will post a new "Closer Look" segment on social media.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make decisions about future shows as we get closer to the start of production,” NBC said in a statement.
The Tonight Show's guests for the week of March 16th were already listed on the show's website, with Monday's show featuring Armie Hammer, Evan Rachel Wood, and Conan Gray, Wednesday's show featuring J Balvin and Sophia Lillis, and Thursday's featuring James Spader and Dude Perfect. Late Night's guests for the week had not yet been announced.
This news comes as both series were already planning on taping shows without an audience beginning on the week of March 16th, a move that had been announced days prior. CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had also joined in on the movement, while TBS' Full Frontal with Samantha Bee already taped without an audience this week.
At the time of this writing, New York has declared a state of emergency with regards to the coronavirus, with New York City alone having 95 confirmed cases. Nearly 2,000 people have gone under voluntary quarantine in New York City, with 29 people under mandatory quarantine.
“I don’t think for most of us who even have been in public life a long time we’ve seen a situation quite like this, where we receive extraordinary new information on what now feels like an hourly basis, so we’re constantly making adjustments,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement (via CNBC).
What do you think of The Tonight Show and Late Night shutting down production for the next few weeks? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!