How the Late-Night Shows Are Handling Coronavirus Quarantine

The shows must go on … some of them, at least. Photo: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

The news has been pure chaos since the coronavirus took over everything, and late-night television has been no exception. On March 11, most of the networks initially announced plans for the late-night shows to continue taping new episodes without live audiences, but those plans were quickly scrapped and replaced with decisions for shows to suspend production entirely. But just because the late-night shows aren’t officially in production doesn’t mean they still aren’t pumping out content to help us stay somewhat sane during the era of self-quarantine. Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, Jimmy Kimmel, and others might be stuck at home like the rest of us, but some are finding ways to stay creative and release segments online. Here are the latest updates on how the late-night shows are handling all of the limitations that come with the coronavirus right now.

Conan (TBS)
Conan is on a previously scheduled hiatus from March 16 through March 27, but it’s set to return on Monday, March 30 with new, full-length episodes shot remotely. The new episodes will be shot on an iPhone without a live studio audience, and the guests will be interviewed via video chat. “Our first priority is the health and well-being of everyone in the Team Coco family, and our second priority is to try and find a way that we can do our jobs safely, from home, and contribute some entertainment for our fans out there who may be hungry for silly distraction,” said executive producer Jeff Ross. Conan O’Brien said the following about his show’s new format: “The quality of my work will not go down because technically that’s not possible.”

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah & Lights Out With David Spade (Comedy Central)
Comedy Central’s late-night shows were suspended on Monday, March 16, through the end of the month, but beginning March 23, Trevor Noah and his team returned to television with new episodes produced from home titled The Daily Social Distancing Show With Trevor Noah. Spade’s show, meanwhile, is continuing to post social content, including “Lo-Fi Monologues.”

Desus & Mero (Showtime)
Desus & Mero taped without an audience the week of March 16 then had a previously scheduled hiatus the week of March 23. On March 26, the show announced on Twitter that it would return with new episodes taped from home, beginning March 30.

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
Full Frontal With Samatha Bee shut down production for the week of March 16, and according to Deadline, two CBS News employees who work in the same building as Full Frontal were diagnosed with coronavirus on March 12. But that didn’t stop Bee from releasing a clip on March 18 in which she teaches fans some survival tips, like how to chop wood. On March 23, TBS announced that Full Frontal will return to TV beginning March 25, with Bee hosting the series from her very woodsy home.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
On March 13, ABC said in a statement that Jimmy Kimmel’s show would suspend production. “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,” the network said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor this and hope to be back on the air with new shows Monday, March 30.” Like the other shows that suspended production in the studio, Kimmel, his writers, and staff continued to release clips online while working from home. On March 27, ABC announced that Kimmel’s show would return on March 30 with remotely produced episodes airing at 12:05 a.m. (Nightline is currently airing coronavirus-focused special episodes in Kimmel’s usual time slot.) On April 8, ABC said in a press release that Kimmel would return to his regular 11:35 p.m. time slot starting on April 13 with half-hour episodes.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver & Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO)
The HBO late-night shows went on hiatus starting March 16. The March 15 episode of Oliver’s show focused on the coronavirus and was taped without an audience. On March 25, HBO announced that both shows will return with new episodes taped from home. Oliver’s show will return on March 29, while Maher’s show will return on April 3.

The Late Late Show With James Corden (CBS)
On March 14, CBS announced that James Corden’s show would suspend production. “After much deliberation we’ve decided to suspend The Late Late Show for the time being,” Corden said on Twitter. “We really explored every option to try and put a show on for you, but right now feel the safest thing to do is to stop for a moment and take advice further down the line. Stay safe out there.” CBS announced on March 25 that a prime-time special, James Corden’s Late Late Show Special, will air at 10 p.m. on March 30. The special, which Corden will host from his garage, will feature musical performances by BTS, Billie Eilish, Andrea Bocelli, Dua Lipa, and John Legend, plus appearances by David Blaine, Will Ferrell, and more. “Shooting from James’s garage may be far from perfect,” Late Late Show executive producers Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe said, “but under the circumstances we hope it can help someone, somewhere, who needs some cheer right now.”

Late Night With Seth Meyers & The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers suspended production on March 13, but both shows continued to release content from home, including Meyers’s “Closer Look” segments. On March 23, Fallon returned to television with episodes combining his Tonight Show: At Home Edition” YouTube videos with previously aired segments. On March 30, NBC announced that beginning the same evening, Late Night would return to television with episodes that include new and remote segments like “A Closer Look” mixed with previously aired segments. The March 30 episode will include an interview with Meyers and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, while the March 31 episode will feature an interview with Meyers and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS)
CBS suspended production on Stephen Colbert’s show on March 12, but the late-night host and his team soldiered on by releasing several clips while working from home. On March 25, Colbert announced on Twitter that The Late Show would return to television beginning March 30. “I’m staying at home and so is everybody who works for me,” he wrote, “but thanks to some amazing work by my staff and the CBS broadcasting folks, we will be back on Monday with new Late Shows. Until then-Stay Strong!”

Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen (Bravo)
Bravo announced on March 13 that Watch What Happens Live would suspend production. In a statement on Twitter, the show said a pre-recorded episode would air on March 19, but “there will be no new episodes for the time being. The situation is being monitored and we will notify our audience when we resume our live production.” Cohen began going live on Instagram on March 16 to stay connected with fans. On March 22, he’ll begin filming WWHL episodes from his apartment titled Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen: @ Home, according to Variety. “Our show is arguably the most lo-tech show in late night in its current form,” Cohen told Variety. “So the idea of taking it down even further a few notches is just ironic and hilarious.”

This is breaking news and the post has been updated accordingly.

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How the Late-Night Shows Are Handling Coronavirus Quarantine