'Jeopardy!' & 'Wheel of Fortune' Nix Audiences Over Coronavirus Fears
The coronavirus is now impacting some of America’s favorite game shows.
A source close to the productions of both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune confirms to ET that there are currently no audiences for either show due to health concerns.
The source also says that there will be no audiences for either show indefinitely. However, both shows will continue to tape and are slated to continue filming through mid-April.
As concern continues to grow over the worldwide spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, many are taking proactive measures to keep themselves safe from the flu-like illness, which can be fatal in the most extreme cases.
One of the reasons for the decision to forego live audiences, and the abundance of caution over the virus, stems from Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek’s battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Variety reports.
Trebek’s health condition — which leaves the 79-year-old TV icon with a compromised immune system — means the virus could pose a much higher risk to his well-being.
Two other reported factors that played in the decision relate to the average age of live audience members, which generally tends to skewer older, and the fact that they often fly in from out of town to attend tapings.
The coronavirus epidemic has had an ever-increasing impact on showbusiness over the past month. Musical acts like BTS, Green Day and Avril Lavigne have canceled tour dates in countries with high levels of coronavirus cases while film and television projects like Mission: Impossible 7 and The Amazing Race have shut down production.
The outbreak has even led to movies being rescheduled — including the upcoming James Bond epic, No Time to Die, which has its planned premiere cancelled and its release date pushed back from April to November over health concerns.
Film and music festivals — including SXSW in Austin, Texas — have been postponed or outright cancelled, and on Monday, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced that they have postponed their upcoming media summit for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which were originally going to be held from Mar. 15-18 in Los Angeles.
In the United States, there have been over 700 reported cases of the virus, which has led to 26 known deaths thus far
For more on the impact the outbreak and subsequent health concerns have had in Hollywood, see the video below.
Coronavirus Outbreak Impacts More Hollywood Events
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