Late Night television is going dark over COVID-19 coronavirus concerns. Previously, it was announced that The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee would be filming their shows without a live audience. But in an abundance of caution, many of those shows have now decided to suspend production altogether instead.
Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert went ahead with their tapings yesterday without a live audience, resulting in a bizarre viewing experience. Colbert ran through a nearly empty theater, delivered jokes to no laughs, and straight-up drank scotch during his show. Seth Meyers cancelled his show before taping began, but explained in a newly taped “A Closer Look” that his guests didn’t feel comfortable going on with coronavirus concerns growing. Indeed, John Krasinski was scheduled to be on Late Night to promote his film A Quiet Place – Part II, but earlier this week Paramount Pictures pulled that movie off of its March 20th release date, opting instead to hold the film until things calm down
Meyers’ executive producer Mike Shoemaker revealed on Twitter that the decision to suspend production altogether was made in concert with the teams behind The Tonight Show and Late Show thanks to a group email chain that was formed between all the producers.
Meyers, Fallon, and Colbert’s shows had all previously planned a hiatus for the week of March 23rd, but decided to cancel next week’s blocking of shows as well. Not only does this help keep their staffs safe, but with studios pulling their films off the March release schedule, they likely would have had trouble booking guests at this time.
The teams will reassess after March 30th to decide if they’ll ramp up production again or if the suspension will need to be extended. But they’re far from the only entertainment offerings impacted by the coronavirus.