Samantha Bee Reveals The Challenges Of Getting TBS’ ‘Full Frontal’ Back Into The Studio


Many of the late-night shows have started to return to the studio following the COVID-19 production shutdown.

However, Samantha Bee outlined her show’s own challenges with returning to its New York studio.

TBSFull Frontal With Samantha Bee shoots in the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street in New York – the same studio that HBO’s Last Week Tonight shoots in.

Since March, the show has been filming from Bee’s house in the woods in upstate New York with the help of her husband Jason Jones and her children.

Speaking on a virtual press conference, Bee told Deadline, “Every moment that I’m not trying to make the show and shoot stuff, I’m thinking about what is going to happen. The difference between us and a lot of other shows is that we don’t own our space outright. We use the studio for a very short period of time in the framework of a week and a lot of other shows come and go so we don’t have any control over that space in terms of who comes and goes.”

She added, “I think they’re doing a good job of planning how the studio is going to happen, at the moment, the studio is not open and our offices are not open. Now we don’t have a large audience and we probably won’t for the foreseeable future, the question is what kind of space do we need going forward. We’re considering all options, honestly, but it’s a little more difficult for us to go into our studio because we can’t control the comings and goings. It’s in a large building and there’s a lot of elevator happening so we don’t really have an end date for you.”

Exec producer Alison Camillo added that the safety of its staff is its “priority”, particularly those living in New York and having to travel on public transport. “You have to take that into account when you’re trying to figure out how to get back into the studio,” she said.

Despite this, Bee said shooting in the woods was a “gift”. She revealed she shoots outside largely because of the sunshine. “Sunshine is the best light, it’s free, usually in the sky. For very practical purposes, we decided to set it outside. We knew it would be pretty. It was because we were going to need as much lighting as possible. No one wants to watch the show in the guest bedroom. It’ll be really interesting if we’re still doing the show when the winds happen in November,” she said.

Bee joked that it did provide some challenges of its own – this week’s episode had to deal with “full woodchipper action”, while a “gigantic” tree fell in her back yard and “ruined” the set following the storms on the east coast.

The former Daily Show correspondent said that she had eight shows until the U.S. Presidential Election in November. However, she joked that she had absolutely no wish to be doing Full Frontal four days a week.

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