Two NBC late night shows — “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” — are suspending production amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Both shows were already expected to go on hiatus the week of March 23, per the Times.
“Things are moving very fast,” Meyers said of the coronavirus, in a clip posted to his show’s Twitter account. He noted that guests “with great reason” had decided not to come in to do the show Thursday night. “We decided to cancel it and we don’t know when we’re gonna start doing shows again.”
The clip went on to include a segment Meyers’ team had already prepared criticizing the Trump administration’s “failed” response to the pandemic.
As of Thursday, there were more than 1,200 cases of COVID-19 in 42 states, and at least 36 deaths, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Once public health officials told Americans to take precautions against spreading the coronavirus, the shows decided to suspend live audience tapings starting Monday. Other popular late night shows — with Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Samantha Bee and Andy Cohen — as well as some daytime talk shows committed to doing the same.
As COVID-19 cases have grown by the day in the U.S., major sports and entertainment organizations have gone from planning audience-free events to halting large events altogether. The NCAA announced earlier Thursday that it would cancel its March Madness basketball tournaments, for instance, and the NBA announced Wednesday that it was suspending its season after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.
Clarification: This story has been edited to clarify the number of states with coronavirus cases.