Citing California public health officials, Governor Gavin Newsom Wednesday night said that gatherings of more than 250 people should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. That effectively would ground any Hollywood film and TV premieres, festivals, larger screenings and Emmy campaign events and would temporarily halt the use of live audiences in show tapings, including primetime sitcoms.
All New York-based late-night shows on Wednesday announced that they were not going to employ studio audience starting Monday, citing similar guidance on public gatherings from New York City officials. The major Los Angeles-based late-night shows, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Late Show with James Corden, A Little Late with Lilly Singh and Real Time with Bill Maher, have not moved in to remove audiences. (Most of the top LA-based daytime shows, led by Ellen and Dr. Phil, already are going temporarily audience-free.)
The recommendation also will impact reality series like America’s Got Talent, which currently filming auditions at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and American Ninja Warrior, which is filming in Los Angeles this weekend. Also likely affected would be the NCAA basketball tournament’s West Regional scheduled for March 26-28 at Staples Center, as well as big theater productions, including Hamilton at the Pantages Theater, and concerts.
“Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease,” Newsom said. “”Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical healthcare resources that your family may need a month from now. The people in our lives who are most at risk — seniors and those with underlying health conditions — are depending on all of us to make the right choice.”
Smaller events must be limited to no more than 250 people and can only take place if organizers can implement social distancing of six feet. Gatherings of people who are at higher health risk should be limited to no more than 10 people and also follow the social-distancing guidelines, the statement said.
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