With concerns mounting over the Coronavirus, ABC has opted to forgo studio audiences for Live With Kelly and Ryan, The View, and The Tamron Hall Show effective immediately.
“Given the current developing situation in New York City, we have made the decision to suspend live audiences from attending our news broadcasts and talk shows,” a Walt Disney Television spokesperson revealed to various outlets Wednesday.
Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa spoke out about the decision on Wednesday’s Live, before the camera pulled back to reveal an audience that consisted of show staff.
“As you can see, things are a little different here today, given the developing situation in New York with the Coronavirus,” Seacrest said. “The decision was made to suspend audiences from our show.”
Added Ripa, “While we don’t have our regular studio audience, except for some of our producers… that shouldn’t stop everyone from watching at home. Because, let’s face it: You can’t go anywhere else!”
The decision comes on the heels of various other shows deciding against having a studio audience present for taping.
The Wendy Williams Show announced it would be saying goodbye to the audience ... for now just one day ago.
“Wendy values her co-hosts and their daily participation, but in light of the current health climate, The Wendy Williams Show will not have a studio audience until further notice,” the show said in a statement.
“We will continue to produce a daily live talk show and look forward to welcoming the studio audience back when the time is right.”
It was announced Monday that Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune were doing the same.
Coronavirus is also to blame for the cancellation of the South by Southwest festival, which was slated to take place March 13-22.
News has also broke that someone who worked on forthcoming FOX drama NeXt tested positive for Coronavirus.
“Fox/Disney notified cast and crew today that a production member for the show ‘neXt,’ which wrapped production at Cinespace in Chicago last week, has tested positive for the Coronavirus,” SAG-AFTRA said on Tuesday.
“That person came into contact with other cast and crew at Cinespace and possibly elsewhere,” SAG-AFTRA said.
“We are working with the production company regarding this matter to determine the timeline and scope of potential exposure to members and others. We are monitoring the situation closely and will update our statement periodically as warranted.”
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.