As the Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, and remains in the early stages of spreading in the United States compared to China and Italy, domestic companies are having to figure out new ways to take precautions against its spread while maintaining "business as usual." The entertainment industry especially is having to adjust at attempts to combat the transmission of the virus, and a new report from Variety reveals that some shows are taking extra precautions as the likes of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune will tape without their traditional live studio audiences very soon.
The pair of shows won't film with their audiences specifically to prevent the spread of the virus to the guests but also because of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who remains immunocompromised due to his pancreatic cancer diagnoses and treatment which remains ongoing. Those factors put Trebek at a higher-risk of contracting the virus if he were exposed to it, so preventing any unnecessary individuals from being in the room is a smart move. Variety reports that new episodes of both shows are "scheduled to tape episodes through mid-April" on the Sony Pictures Television lot.
Trebek offered an update on his health last week, revealing he had crossed the one-year mark after his diagnosis. He was extremely open about how hard the last year has been on him and revealed that he's struggled with depression and sadness due to the taxing chemo. However, Trebek's message was filled with hope and he has every intention of continuing the fight.
Variety goes on to report that many of the talk shows from ABC, NBC, and CBS that film with live audiences intend to continue under those same conditions for the time being. It's unclear how long they intend to do that as the virus continues to spread in the United States and uncertainty lingers.
Many high profile events have already been cancelled in the United States as a result of the virus with SXSW in Austin, Texas among the most high profile. Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle has been postponed for the time being with the new James Bond movie No Time to Die delayed from April until November due to the spread of the virus.
The coronavirus — or COVID-19 — outbreak has infected at least 423 people in the United States as of the writing, resulting in 19 deaths. Worldwide, more than 114,000 have been infected by the virus, resulting in over 4,000 deaths.