Walt Disney Co. has confirmed that its news and talk shows, including "The View," "Live with Kelly and Ryan" and "Good Morning America," will go audience-free indefinitely, the latest response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
“Given the current developing situation in New York City, we have made the decision to suspend live audiences from attending our news broadcasts and talk shows," the company said in a statement.
Wednesday morning's "Kelly and Ryan" included an audience, but spokeswoman Barbara Warren said the crowd was made up of producers and other staff, and empty rows could be glimpsed in audience shots. "Tamron Hall" and "Strahan, Sara and Keke" are also affected.
Among other affected shows: "One Day at a Time" will tape episodes without a studio audience as a precautionary step in the wake of coronavirus concerns, USA TODAY confirmed Tuesday with a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly.
The reboot of Norman Lear's 1970s sitcom, which premieres on Pop TV March 24 after three seasons on Netflix, has seven episodes of Season 4 remaining to be taped at its Culver City, Calif., set. According to a website that provides audience tickets, the next taping is March 24.
As concerns about coronavirus continue to affect the entertainment industry, still other shows are making changes to their usual protocol regarding studio audiences.
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is one of a number of Warner Bros.-produced shows instituting tighter screening procedures for those hoping to attend tapings.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Warner Bros. executive Paul McGuire confirmed that shows that shoot in front of studio audiences will step up screening procedures to limit the spread of the virus.
At tapings for all Warner Bros. shows, guests must confirm that neither they, nor members of their household, have traveled in the last three weeks to a place given a Level 3 Travel Health Notice by the Centers for Disease Control. As of Tuesday, these places include China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.
In addition to DeGeneres' daytime talk show, other Warner Bros. programs affected by the new protocol include "The Bachelor," which aired its finale in front of for a live studio audience Tuesday; NBC's "The Voice"; CBS sitcom "Mom" and daytime talk show "The Real."
The coronavirus risk has affected other shows, too. "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" have begun taping shows without audiences, USA TODAY has confirmed. The game shows will continue that practice indefinitely.
"Dr. Phil" changed its practices Tuesday: The CBS daytime talk show announced it will nix having an audience indefinitely.
"The health of our audience members, staff and crew are the priority," the show's executive producer Carla Pennington said in a statement to USA TODAY.
"The Wendy Williams Show" also decided to go without a studio audience "in light of the current health climate," a spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY. The show's producers said they will welcome live audiences back "when the time is right."
The new restrictions go beyond entertainment programming. The Democratic National Committee Tuesday announced that Sunday's first head-to-head debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders in Phoenix will take place without an audience.
The announcement came a day after party and city officials said they would be following the guidance of local officials, but that there were no plans to cancel the debate. The campaigns of Biden and Sanders, who are competing for the Democratic presidential nomination, asked the DNC to dispense with the audience, according to a written statement Tuesday from the DNC.
The coronavirus also is affecting production of TV shows that don't have studio audiences. USA TODAY Tuesday confirmed a Deadline story that Disney had shut down production of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" in Prague after the Czech Republic city closed schools and instituted restrictions on events and travel. According to Deadline, the Disney+ series from Marvel, which mostly shoots in Atlanta, was filming in Prague for about a week.
During a recent episode, CBS' daytime staple "The Price is Right" included a coronavirus-related message in connection with travel prizes to places subject to travel advisories by the CDC, USA TODAY confirmed.
"This episode was recorded prior to the outbreak of COVID-19," a disclaimer read during the credits. "Travel prizes in regions affected by COVID-19 may be fulfilled with alternative arrangements. For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC's website."
Coronavirus: Madonna, Pearl Jam, Carlos Santana and more cancel shows amid fears
More than 116,000 cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide across more than 100 countries and regions, and more than 4,000 people have died as of Tuesday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
For most people, coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
Longtime "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek, 79, recently hit the one-year mark in his battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, so the precaution may be viewed as a way to keep him healthy. "The one-year survival rate for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%. I'm very happy to report I have just reached that marker," Trebek said in a video last week.
"Wheel of Fortune" host 73-year-old Pat Sajak underwent emergency surgery in November after suffering from a blocked intestine.
The changes come as high-profile events, concerts and movie releases are getting pushed back or canceled to limit the spread of COVID-19.
On Monday, Madonna nixed two Madame X shows in France, and Pearl Jam soon followed suit by announcing the postponement of its North American tour.
Miley Cyrus, who was set to headline an Australian bushfire relief concert on March 13, also released a statement saying she's "no longer travelling to Australia for the show."
Rocker Neil Young pressed pause on his highly-anticipated Crazy Horse tour over the uncertainty of the coronavirus, noting that his "older audience" was a cause for concern.
Several musicians have cancelled or postponed concerts – most of them outside of the United States – because of the spreading virus, including Queen, Ciara, BTS, Khalid, Mariah Carey, Green Day and more. The South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, has been cancelled and the Ultra electronic dance music festival in Miami has been postponed.
Contributing: Gary Levin; Charles Trepany, Cydney Henderson; Grace Hauck; The Associated Press; Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Arizona Republic.