'America's Got Talent' Will Continue Without Live Audience Amid Coronavirus Spread, Heidi Klum Illness

America's Got Talent still plans on filming new episodes during the coronavirus pandemic, just without audiences. The show has already been hit hard after judge Heidi Klum was forced to miss tapings this week due to an illness. Judge Howie Mandel, who has a fear of germs due to his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, was also photographed going to a taping in a hazmat suit on Tuesday.

Fremantle, which also producers Family Feud and The Price Is Right, said Thursday AGT will be filmed without a studio audience to protect the cast and crew. Family Feud will also be filmed without an audience.

"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," Fremantle said in a statement to Deadline. "Effective immediately, we will refrain from filming in front of live audiences for our current productions America's 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."

More episodes were scheduled to be filmed in Los Angeles from Friday through Tuesday, but those have been canceled.

Klum missed tapings on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet taking her place. Klum later took to Instagram to assure fans she is doing well, although her voice was cracking in an Instagram Story video. Klum said she was feeling the symptoms of COVID-19, but hopes she only has a common cold. She said she could not get tested because there still are not enough tests in the U.S.

"I'm just not feeling good so that's why I've stayed home to not infect any other people," Klum said in a video filmed from her bed. "I hope it's just a cold, I would love to do the corona test but there just isn't one here. I've tried with two different doctors and just can't get one."

On Tuesday, Mandel was spotted wearing a hazmat suit to filming. The comedian has OCD and a fear of germs, which he has openly discussed in the past.

The upcoming season will feature Mandel, Simon Cowell and Klum returning as judges, with Modern Family star Sofa Vergara joining them for the first time. Terry Crews hosts the series.


Other game shows have made adjustments due to the coronavirus. Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, which both pick their contestants before filming begins, are in production without studio audiences. However, since The Price Is Right needs an audience for its contestants, the show has been put on hold.

Photo credit: NBC