The cast of Saturday Night Live is practicing social distancing by avoiding Studio 8H for the time being. The next three episodes of SNL will be postponed until further notice, according to a report from Variety, due to the concern of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The next episode of Saturday Night Live was to be hosted by John Krasinski, the director of A Quiet Place Part II, which already had its March 18 release date pushed back following coronavirus concern. Dua Lipa was the musical guest slated for his episode.
Saturday Night Live’s decision marks just one more way late night television is responding to coronavirus concern, as the virus has reached the level of global pandemic. Shows hosted by Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Samantha Bee, and Jimmy Kimmel shut ceased production this week. Earlier, some previously produced episodes went without their standard studio audience to curb the number of people interacting with one another during filming.
Outside of late night TV, many other shows filming this month have already shut down production completely, such as Warner Bros. television programs like The Bachelorette.
Entertainment of all kinds in New York City, where SNL is filmed, has been affected heavily by the coronavirus spread. Broadway shows have been cancelled for the time being. The Met Museum shuttered its doors, and the annual spring Met Gala has been “indefinitely postponed.” Movie theaters, concert venues, bars, restaurants, and gyms have all closed temporarily.
As social isolation continues to be the primary way to stop the spread of coronavirus, people are turning to television to cope. Saturday Night Live is currently in season 45 — while new episodes will be much missed in the next few weeks, that’s a lot of back sketches to catch up on.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.