It seems like the whole world is shutting down to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak rampaging the globe. From flights being cut down to Bond films being delayed, many places are cancelling events and film festivals or even delaying Bond films, all to ensure a pandemic doesn’t go from bad to even worse. As such, if you wanted to watch episodes of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune in person, as they’re taped, you’re in bad luck.
As per TMZ, both longtime game shows will temporarily play to empty houses in response to the health scare. There were many reasons that led to the decision. One is Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, currently battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, meaning he has a compromised immune system thanks to chemotherapy and other treatments.
The others involve the audiences themselves. For one thing, most of the studio audiences for both audiences skew older, and older people are among the most susceptible to the worst parts of COVID-19. On top of that, many of them are from out of town, and travel has been, in many cases, discouraged, especially to parts of the country seeing outbreaks. Jeopardy! films in New York City, which currently has 16 confirmed cases, with 100 in New York State in total. Wheel of Fortune, meanwhile, is set in Burbank, in Los Angeles County, which, as of this writing, has 16 confirmed cases.
Again, both shows will continue to film; the host and players will just play to empty seats. As with all things suspended due to the coronavirus, it’s unclear how long the moratorium will last. It depends entirely on how we combat the virus.