The brassy hostess of the Wendy Williams Show is shutting down production indefinitely over fears of the coronavirus. As Page Six reports, Wendy Williams announced that the show was taking a hiatus after filming for a week without an audience to help contain the spread of the virus.
“To Our Dedicated Wendy Show Staff, 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,” a memo released to the show’s team states. “However, the office will remain open for you to pick up any materials or personal items.”
The memo reveals that the Wendy Williams Show will air repeats for the time being and will reassess at a later date.
“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!”
The show is one of the first daytime shows to halt production indefinitely in the face of the spreading pandemic, but many have stopped filming in front of a studio audience as local governments and experts warn that large gatherings of people should be avoided. This week, The View, Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and other daytime shows filmed without studio audiences.
Evening shows like The Late Show with Stephan Colbert postponed filming several episodes next week, and The Tonight Show and Seth Meyers’ Late Night also extended a halt in production through their scheduled spring breaks.
Real Time with Bill Maher, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee are all continuing to film, but without studio audiences.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has prompted more than just television shows to take precautions. In California, where the government has recommended that no groups over the size of 250 gather, Disneyland and Universal Studios shut down for the month.
The NBA and the NHL also announced that they were suspending play over fears of the virus. The NCAA pulled the plug on its annual March Madness, and Major League Baseball delayed its opening season and called off spring training. NASCAR didn’t cancel its events but announced that it would hold them without an audience in attendance.