'The Ellen Show' to Tape Without a Studio Audience Amid Coronavirus Concerns

March 12, 2020

"The Ellen Show" is joining a long list of shows that are scrapping their live audience due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

“With the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, and out of concern for our audience attending The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Telepictures will suspend audience attendance during tapings effective Monday, March 16,” a spokesperson for Telepictures released to Deadline.

“This temporary measure will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and will not impact the production schedule of Ellen.”

Ellen shared the news on her Twitter and lightened the mood with a little signature humor:

“I have some news. For now, I’ll be shooting my show with no studio audience. To everyone who was looking forward to coming, I'm so sorry. But I’m doing this for the health of my fans, my staff & my crew. (It has nothing to do with a warrant for my arrest in the state of Florida.),” she wrote.

Shows pre-taped with an audience will air through Friday with a no-audience policy going into effect starting Monday.

“The Ellen Show” is following the leads of other daytime talk shows like “The View,” “Rachael Ray,” and “Live! With Kelly and Ryan.”

Previously, two of the biggest TV game shows, “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” announced indefinite plans to tape without an audience.

They listed several reasons influencing their decision including a generally older live-studio audience and an audience that travels from all over the world for a taping.

Production is also exerting caution out of respect for longtime host Alex Trebek is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

According to the CDC, anyone over the age of 60 and with serious illness or compromised immune systems is at a higher risk of getting sick.

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