'General Hospital,' 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Shut Down by ABC Amid Coronavirus Fears

ABC shut down production on the late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live and its only daytime soap opera, General Hospital, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The network initially planned to take episodes of Kimmel without a live studio audience, but that idea was scrapped following Thursday night's episode guest-hosted by former Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. ABC expects to resume filming of Kimmel on Monday, March 30.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live has determined it is in the best interest of the staff and crew to suspend production on the show beginning Monday, March 16," ABC said in a statement to Deadline. "We will continue to monitor this and hope to be back on the air with new shows Monday, March 30."

General Hospital will stop filming on Monday, with the suspension continuing through Friday, April 10. Thanks to a backlog of completed new episodes, the network is not expecting any interruption in the show's broadcast schedule.

On Thursday night, audiences at home got to see what a late-night show would be like without a studio audience. Kimmel was joined by the New York City-filmed The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which all filmed without audiences laughing at their jokes. Instead, they only had a few staffers in the crowds to play off of.

Before the episodes aired, NBC and CBS announced plans to scrap production on their late-night shows. NBC's Tonight Show and Late Night with Seth Meyers will not film any new episodes next week, and will go on their previously scheduled hiatus for the week of March 23, reports The Wrap.

Over at CBS, plans to film three new episodes of The Late Show next week were canceled. The show is expected to resume production on March 30.

In the past two days, dozens of film and television productions across the country have been put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. The studios have also been forced to reschedule major movie releases. ABC already put production on Grey's Anatomy on hold, with a handful of episodes still left to film for Season 16.

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On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The declaration freed up $50 billion to help states, territories and localities "in our shared fight against this disease." Trump also told reporters his administration is working with the private industry to make tests more widely available following days of criticism for not doing so before, reports CBS News.

Photo credit: ABC/Randy Holmes