UPDATED: Several reality/game shows are delaying production, shutting down or going without a studio audience.
NBC’s American Ninja Warrior has postponed production for two weeks. The series was originally scheduled to start filming tomorrow, March 13. That date has now been pushed. Also postponed is start of production of game show Card Sharks.
NBC’s America’s Got Talent and syndicated game show Family Feud will continue filming but without a studio audience, while CBS’ daytime game show The Price Is Right has suspended filming for the next two weeks. AGT, Family Feud, Card Sharks and The Price Is Right are all produced by Fremantle. Here is the company’s statement.
Due to the ongoing global situation around Covid-19, we have been working closely with our production teams and network partners to take measures to help minimize the risk of exposure to our cast, crew and live audiences. Effective immediately, we will refrain from filming in front of live audiences for our current productions AMERICAS GOT TALENT and FAMILY FEUD. As live audiences are integral to the format of THE PRICE IS RIGHT, we will be suspending production for the short term. For similar reasons, we will be postponing the start of production for season 2 of CARD SHARKS. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and determine the appropriate time to resume normal course of business.
The On Camera Audiences platform, which handles recruitment of in-studio viewers, on Thursday changed the status of the remaining AGT Los Angeles tapings from March 13 -March 17 to canceled. Also listed as canceled are the tapings of The Price Is Right, now through March 25, with March 30 the first available date (for now) after a scheduled short production break.
AGT has had eventful last two days of filming. Judge Heidi Klum went to work Tuesday but left before the start of the taping with what was subsequently described by sources as a common cold. She stayed home ill Wednesday, with Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet filling in for her. He sat alongside his Modern Family co-star Sofia Vergara, who is a new addition to the show’s judging panel, as well as AGT veterans Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel.
The shutdown of The Price is Right comes after fellow game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel Of Fortune earlier this week announced that are switching to filming without studio audience as a precaution over coronavirus concerns. That is not a realistic option for The Price Is Right, which is built on interaction with the audience.