Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil cancel live audiences amid coronavirus outbreak
Studio audiences being dropped temporarily out of an abundance of caution
Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and Dr. Phil are among the latest TV shows taping without studio audiences in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Dr. Phil will tape without a studio audience for roughly two weeks as a precaution, a move that will affect a dozen episodes. The show typically tapes with an audience of about 300 people at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles.
Producers expect to resume audience tapings the week of March 23, according to a statement announcing the decision Tuesday.
A person close to Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, which are filmed in Culver City, Calif., told The Associated Press on Monday that the decision to temporarily drop the studio audience is being taken out of an abundance of caution given the spread of the new coronavirus in numerous communities in the United States and abroad. The source spoke on condition of anonymity.
Since productions like these tape months in advance, the episodes without a live audience will not be immediately noticeable to viewers at home.
Apart from straightforward cancellations and postponements, closed or "spectator-less" live events are taking place around the globe, as producers and organizers attempt to move ahead with regular operations while also avoiding mass gatherings amid the spread of COVID-19.
In South Korea, K-pop band BTS livestreamed a recent event promoting its latest album instead of holding an open-to-the public gathering. Organizers of sporting events in countries like Italy, Japan and Bahrain have barred spectators. Producers of variety show Eat Bulaga, a long-running daytime hit in the Philippines, has temporarily dropped filming with a live audience.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
With files from CBC News