Debmar-Mercury’s The Wendy Williams Show late Thursday said it was suspending production on the show entirely due to concerns surrounding coronavirus, which is now a global pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The show’s production staff received the following Thursday night:
“The safety and well-being of our employees is our top priority. Considering the current escalation of the coronavirus, production will be put on hold, indefinitely. However, the office will remain open for you to pick up any materials or personal items. In place of live shows we will air repeats and we will continue to monitor the situation with the CDC and city officials to determine the best time to return and produce live shows again. Thank you for everything you do and please stay safe!”
Earlier in the week, Wendy Williams had suspended taping in front of live studio audiences, a measure that essentially all TV shows that engage in that practice have ceased for the time being.
Besides Wendy Williams, other shows have begun cancelling tapings entirely, including NBC’s two late-night shows -- The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers -- and CBS’ The Late Show with James Corden. Tapings of the Fallon and Meyers shows are off starting Monday, March 16 through a previously scheduled hiatus that runs March 23-27.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.