Ellen DeGeneres is joining the list of talk show hosts suspending their shows due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Ellen DeGeneres Show was planning to film without a live studio audience, but DeGeneres announced late Friday the show will go on hiatus completely. The show, now in its 17th season, is filmed in Burbank, California at the Warner Bros. lot.
"I have some news. For now, I'll be shooting my show with no studio audience," DeGeneres wrote on Wednesday. "To everyone who was looking forward to coming, I'm so sorry. But I'm doing this for the health of my fans, my staff & my crew. (It has nothing to do with a warrant for my arrest in the state of Florida.)"
On Friday, DeGeneres shared another tweet, confirming she will not be filming at all for the rest of the month. The next new episode will not be filmed until Monday, March 30. Andy Lassner, an executive producer on the show, called the decision a "good call, boss."
"Hey there. Me again. So, after some more thought, we have decided to suspend production completely until March 30th," DeGeneres tweeted. "We just want to take every precaution to ensure that we do our part to keep everyone healthy. I love you guys, and can’t wait to come back. I’m already bored.'
While the news left some fans sad, many supported her decision to put health over the show on her list of priorities.
"Smart. I am a big fan of yours and did a History report about you!!" one fan wrote. "Keep up the good work!"
"Health is more important than anything," another tweeted. "Stay healthy and safe Ellen staff. Prayers to everyone in need. Going to miss you guys so freaking much!!"
"Thank you for caring about your fans and fellow Americans," one fan wrote, alongside a blue heart emoji. "I hope you, your cast and crew, and your loved ones stay safe and healthy."
"Enjoy these days to relax & spend time with [wife Portia de Rossi], your family & your pets," one Twitter user suggested. "Stay healthy! We need you & your humor & kindness!! Blessings to all!"
Several other daytime talkshows are also being put on hold or filmed without a studio audience. The View chose to keep going without an audience, although co-host Joy Behar announced she is going into self-quarantine.
"I'm in a higher risk group because of my age, but I'm perfectly healthy," Behar told the audience Thursday. "I don't look my age, but I'm actually up there. The number makes me dizzy."
NBC News also chose to drop the studio audience for the fourth hour of the Today Show, Hoda & Jenna & Friends, which started including a live in-studio audience last month. The Today Show will also suspend live audiences for the first three hours.
"Per guidance from New York City officials, the company is hoping to do its part to help to decrease the rate of transmission in our communities," the network said. "Our shows will continue filming on their regular schedule, and currently, there will be no impact on air dates."
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