The impact of the coronavirus is being felt across the television industry as shows begin axing audiences.
As the public was encouraged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday to start social distancing television producers have begun making changes to how their shows are produced.
ITV daytime panel show Loose Women (pictured above) returned yesterday with no audience and will continue to do so for the foreseeable. On Channel 5, the Jeremy Vine Show was also audience-less. The lack of audience did not have that much of an impact on the shows but for big prime time shows, it could cause them to fall flat.
ITV are expected to announce this week that Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead as planned this Saturday but without an audience. It was revealed at the weekend that the final, which was due to take place at Disneyland in Florida, had been cancelled after the theme park shut it doors last week.
The BBC also confirmed reports that production on two of its biggest shows had been halted. Filming of the new series of Line of Duty and Peaky Blinders has stopped with the BBC saying it will review all production on a “case-by-case” basis.
Broadcast news is also beginning to feel the effects of the coronavirus as they put in measures to stop the possible spread among presenters, journalists and crews behind the scenes. Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid has begun self isolating at home after someone in her household developed symptoms. Reid herself said she is “well.”
Soap operas as yet haven’t been affected but ITV have said that both Coronation Street and Emmerdale will remind its viewers to wash their hands thoroughly as it will continue to “remind people of important public health issues.” It’s not clear whether any of the soaps will mention the coronavirus directly.