Late night shows to tape without audiences amid coronavirus fears

Bring back the laugh track.

Late night shows are joining the growing list of productions closing their doors to live audiences now that coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee will be telling their jokes to empty seats starting March 16, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Our shows will continue filming on their regular schedule, and currently, there will be no impact on air dates,” said NBC in a statement. The network puts on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

“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,” the statement went on.

CBS, which puts on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” released a similar statement.

Other shows that have opted for audience-less shows include “Jeopardy!,” whose host Alex Trebek is currently fighting cancer, “Wheel of Fortune,” “Rachael Ray,” “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” “Tamron Hall,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Dr. Phil.”

“The View” has also uninvited audiences — which was apparently no problem for co-host Whoopi Goldberg Wednesday morning who welcomed empty seats.

Festivals and concerts are also at a standstill around the world. This week, Goldenvoice postponed California music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach, while Austin’s SXSW canceled its fest, leaving many former attendees without refunds.

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