‘The Tonight Show,’ ‘Late Night’ suspended over coronavirus

NBC said it would suspend production of its two flagship late-night programs for a period of at least two weeks, the latest bit of fallout around wee-hours TV related to the spread of coronavirus.

Starting Friday, “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night” will suspend production through a previously planned hiatus, which had been scheduled for the week of March 23. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make decisions about future shows as we get closer to the start of production,” NBC said in a statement.

Both shows had planned to start broadcasting Monday without a live, in-studio audience, a nod to the new requirements of life under the spread of coronavirus. All of the nation’s late-night programs had made similar decisions, which means every national late-night program will proceed without one of the format’s bedrock elements – a live crowd that can react to all the jokes and sketches, and even influence the host’s actions and tone over the course of a segment or a night.

“Tonight” will tape an original episode for Thursday night without an audience, NBC said. Guests include Dr. Oz, Mandy Moore, and Dane DeHaan. “Late Night with Seth Meyers” will air an encore tonight, but post an original “Closer Look” segment – one of the show’s signature features – for digital consumption.

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