Pop TV’s One Day at a Time has become the first known primetime multi-camera sitcom to forego taping in front of live audiences in the face of growing coronavirus pandemic. The comedy series, from Sony Pictures TV, has been audience-free since Tuesday. There is no information about any studios cancelling audiences for their sitcom tapings; Warner Bros. TV on Tuesday issued an advisory to audience members, “asking all guests to confirm that neither they nor any member of their household have traveled within the past three weeks to or through a location that has been deemed ‘Level 3’ by the CDC.” The policies will likely change in light of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call last night for any gatherings involving more than 250 to be canceled.
One Day at a Time is one of several Los Angeles-based series on networks from ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Brands division to stop using studio audiences, along with Comedy Central’s Lights Out With David Spade and Tosh.0, which will implement the policy Monday, and MTV’s Ridiculousness, which is adopting it today. All moves are out of precaution, with no known cases of coronavirus tied to any of the shows.
Comedy Central’s New York-based The Daily Show with Trevor Noah announced yesterday that it too will temporarily go without an audience, and an MTV spokesperson yesterday confirmed that “as a precautionary measure to ensure the health of our production crew, talent and aspiring artists, all public auditions for MTV’s Making the Band in Charlotte, NC on March 13-14 and New York City on March 21-22 have been cancelled.”
Here is a statement from ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Brands about the LA-based shows’ switch to no studio audience format.
Our top priority is the safety of our guests and staff. All of our LA based shows including Comedy Central’s Lights Out With David Spade and Tosh.0 will film without an audience starting Monday, March 16th. There have been no developments at Lights Out or Tosh.0 to cause concern for audience members who have plans to attend tonight’s tapings. MTV’s Ridiculousness will also tape without an audience beginning today and Pop TV’s One Day at a Time has been doing so since Tuesday. These decisions have been made out of an abundance of caution and concern regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
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