The Tonight Show, The Late Show and More Ban Audiences Amid Coronavirus Fears

The Tonight Show, The Late Show and a host of other late-night staples are banning audiences amid Coronavirus fears. The news was first reported by CNN as CBS, NBC, ABC and others opted to act with caution amid the worldwide concern around the virus. Other shows like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Late Night with Seth Myers will also be operating without audiences too. Most of these shows are filmed in the New York area, but there has been a rising call for action among citizens and management alike in sports and entertainment.

On Twitter CNN’s Frank Pallotta wrote, “BREAKING: New York late-night shows including The Late Show, The Tonight Show and Last Week Tonight are going to start taping with no studio audience due to the concerns over the coronavirus.”

NBC released a statement that said, “The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority.” The company will be taking “precautionary measures” with The Tonight Show, Late Night and cease live audiences starting on Monday. Saturday Night Live is in the middle of a scheduled hiatus until late this month.

Stephen Colbert’s program is the highest-rated show in late night and the statement from their show says there haven’t 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.”

Full Frontal’s Samantha Bee said in a statement, ”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!”


Disney’s former CEO Bob Iger weighed in on the concerns in recent weeks as well. “All of the movie companies that are expecting to distribute movies coming up in China, obviously are impacted by this,” he told CNBC. “Again, it is hard to tell. We have a release coming out in March, Mulan, which obviously would have been of great interest to China. It will eventually get into China, at this point, we’re not sure when. Obviously, the big issue on everybody’s mind and everyone’s concern is what’s going on with this virus. And how far will it go in terms of its impact on people.”

Have you been personally affected by these shutdowns? Let us know in the comments.