‘Saturday Night Live’ producer Lorne Michaels and cast members at the 2019 Emmys. The show is … [+]
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Add Saturday Night Live to the growing list of shows that won’t be broadcasting live due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBC variety show, which often posts the highest ratings of the weekend when no sports are airing, has postponed the next three live episodes of the program, according to a source close to the program, who deemed the decision a precautionary move.
As of tonight, the SNL website still promised a new episode on March 28.
John Krasinski, whose upcoming film, A Quiet Place Part II, was delayed earlier this month, was slated to that program, with musical guest Dua Lipa. The following two weeks are also supposed to be new episodes. The last original episode aired March 7 with host Daniel Craig (whose latest James Bond movie was also delayed by coronavirus).
SNL is merely the latest program to see filming suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak, including shows shot in front of a live studio audience, like ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and CBS’s The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers have also paused production.
Today, President Donald J. Trump introduced a new guidance asking people of all ages to avoid gatherings with more than 10 people. Studio audiences usually include hundreds of people, with cast and crew adding even more. Undoubtedly more programs will join the delayed list.
While SNL is on at least a three-week break, it’s unclear when shooting schedules will resume. The network is expected to monitor the situation before making a decision.
The most recent original episode of SNL averaged a 4.1 household rating and a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights. Both ranked as the best of the day on broadcast.
SNL has posted strong numbers online this season, with 1.32 billion views on YouTube, up 55% from season 44 last year. That includes more than 7.6 million views for the Feb. 29 cold open about coronavirus.