The rocky daytime TV landscape has hit another bump.
Sherri Shepherd tested positive for COVID, causing a temporary halt to taping of her daytime talk show. The show announced Shepherd’s positive test in an Instagram post Wednesday. “I am absolutely heartbroken that I cannot return to host my show this week,” Shepherd said in a statement. “As soon as I get the all-clear from my doctor, I look forward to coming back strong to deliver the fun, laughter and a real good time.”
Hollywood’s COVID protocols will expire on May 12, and the vaccination mandate — which gave producers the right to require COVID vaccinations as a condition of employment — will end for all productions except those that were implemented prior to May 12, which can continue to apply for the remainder of the production or the season.
There was a morning scramble Tuesday on NBC’s Today, but no cooking segment involved. The morning program had to move fast in replacing one of its co-hosts while on the air after it was discovered that Savannah Guthrie tested positive for COVID-19. Guthrie was forced to abruptly vacate her anchor chair this morning, leaving Sheinelle Jones with the task of handling her flagship morning news show duties.
Hollywood’s unions and guilds are in talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers to renew their COVID safety protocols, which expire Tuesday amid mounting pressure to end a mandate that gives employers the limited option to require vaccinations as a condition of employment.
Two former ESPN employees have sued the network and its parent company, Walt Disney, over their terminations in 2021 after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In a complaint filed in a Connecticut court on Wednesday, former ESPN reporter Allison Williams (above) and longtime producer Beth Faber alleged that the company made “no serious attempt” to accommodate their COVID-19 exemption requests.
Drew Barrymore has come down with COVID so the CBS Media Ventures syndicated talker will be guest-hosted Monday and Tuesday by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and co-host Ross Mathews, Barrymore announced Thursday on Instagram.
Los Angeles County’s daily COVID case count continued its recent upward trend on Wednesday, with the region tallying 1,662 new cases in the past 24 hours. That’s the highest one-day count since Sept. 7. Furthermore, the seven-day test positivity is now 5.9%, up 51% from 3.9% just before Halloween. Hospitalizations are beginning to rise amid fears of a “tripledemic.”
Disney no longer requires vaccinations for the casts of all of its U.S. productions, as well as those who come into contact with them on set. The majority of Disney-produced series have now lifted the mandate, including ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 and Fox’s 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star. According to sources, a few U.S-based series produced/co-produced by various Disney divisions are keeping the requirement in place, including ABC’s The Rookie and The Rookie: Feds, whose lead studio is eOne.
Hollywood’s COVID protocols have been extended until Jan. 31, 2023, per an agreement between the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and Hollywood’s unions. The vaccination mandate, which gives employers the limited option to require COVID vaccinations as a condition of employment, will remain in place. This is the 10th time the return-to-work protocols have been extended or amended.
Tennis champ Novak Djokovic won’t play at the upcoming U.S. Open after refusing to comply with United States restrictions requiring COVID vaccinations for foreign travelers. Djokovic, who has steadfastly refused to get vaxxed, announced the news on Twitter today. “Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” he wrote. The Open begins on Monday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens, N.Y., and runs through Sept. 11.
IBC’s first in-person event since 2019 may have fewer days and attendees than at its high-water mark, but vendors are packing their schedules with meetings and say they’re excited to be doing business in person again.
Seth Meyers has tested positive for the virus and has canceled his NBC Late Night show for the rest of the week. “After negative tests Monday and Tuesday I tested positive for COVID this morning,” he tweeted. “Canceling shows the rest of this week. Apologies to our scheduled guests and loyal viewers.”
President Joe Biden said that he was “doing well” and “getting a lot of work done” in a new video posted by the White House, just hours after he tested positive for COVID. “Thanks for your concern, and keep the faith. It’s going to be OK,” Biden said in the short spot, shot on the Truman Balcony on the south side of the White House.
The Television Critics Association Summer Tour is shifting quickly to a virtual installment. Next week the tour commences, but according to a message just sent to TCA members, several networks have chosen to shift to virtual days over growing concerns for COVID numbers in Los Angeles. The TCA Board announced the news to members in an email today saying that Disney, which includes ABC, FX, Hulu, NatGeo and Onyx, CBS/Paramount+ and PBS are all going to be virtual.
An agreement between Hollywood studios and a group of entertainment industry unions is set to be extended until the end of September. Above: Behind the scenes on the set of the CBS’s NCIS: Los Angeles as they practice social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols.
Film and TV productions shot in Los Angeles will now require crew members to wear mask indoors. The announcement was made on Thursday by Barbara Ferrer, the public health officer of Los Angeles County. During a media briefing, Ferrer said the change was made due to increasing hospitalizations in L.A. county due to COVID-19.
Jeopardy host Mayim Bialik is updating her social media followers on her health after testing positive for COVID-19. The star announced her diagnosis via her official Instagram account on Monday and then directed people to the Instagram account for her Bialik Breakdown podcast, where she offered more details on her symptoms. Bialik wrote in her caption that she is both vaccinated and boosted.
The commission also said it plans to allow the press and public into its July monthly meeting, also a first since the pandemic forced those meetings to be held virtually.
Latenight hosts are brought in by networks to provide comic relief at their upfront presentations. But turns out Seth Meyers was only half joking when he told the thousands who had packed Radio City Music Hall for NBCUniversal’s presentation, “What a historic room to be able to tell people you got COVID in.” Ten days later, COVID cases are sweeping through the ranks of those who attended the marathon of events in New York last week. Top-level executives at virtually all of the major networks and studios have been impacted, along with support staff that worked on the presentations as well as media buyers and reporters who attended the string of events.
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert is canceling the taping of new episodes “until further notice” after its host exhibited COVID-19 symptoms. The news comes only a few weeks after Colbert’s COVID diagnosis paused taping of his CBS latenight show from April 21 to May 2.
Research conducted for Yahoo and ad agency Publicis found that while people may have been isolated from friends and co-workers, they stuck together and gathered around glowing screens. The increased screen time at home created the opportunity for 64% of families to spend more time watching shows together and 49% are planning movie nights as a family.
Trevor Noah joked about the event becoming a superspreader — and now the cases are rolling in. In the days since WHCD weekend, reporters and staffers from CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Politico and other participating news organizations have tested positive for the virus. Most notably, ABC’s Jon Karl, who shook hands with President Biden, has fallen ill.
“Our daughter brought us COVID (even though we specifically asked her not to),” the ABC latenight host tweeted Monday. “All feeling fine, I am double vaxxed and boosted but the show must not go on.”
Stephen Colbert won’t be ripping into anyone else this week in his evening monologue. He’s having to take a break from “The Late Show” on CBS after testing positive for COVID-19. Colbert responded to his show’s own tweet to note that he is feeling fine. He also confirmed he is both vaxxed and boosted.
“Her whole family has it. You know how it is. Everyone gets it, they quarantine, and then 5 days later, everything’s going to be just fine,” Hager’s co-host Hoda Kotb said during Wednesday’s show.
The special, 24 Months That Changed the World, will air on ABC as a special edition of 20/20 on Wednesday March 30, at 10 p.m. It will stream on Hulu the following day. Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts will lead the program, with contributions from ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, senior national affairs correspondent Deborah Roberts, contributor Chris Connelly, and chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis.
Stations may be easing back into their studios as the pandemic abates, but cloud workflows that had been adopted out of necessity for field production are holding fast. Above, Avid’s MediaCentral Collaborate encompasses planning, assignments, task management and project tracking. It can be accessed on a web client, through a mobile app and also through the Media Composer and Adobe Premiere editing systems.
Fox News and Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto returned to the air on Monday and revealed he had been in an intensive care unit while battling pneumonia and the coronavirus. The host said his “very compromised immune system” caused him to contract the coronavirus more than once.