Coronavirus forces 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' to tape without live audience

More than 600 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States.
"Out of an abundance of caution due to the spread of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel audience attendance for the tapings of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! for the time being," a source close to the show told NBC News.
"Out of an abundance of caution due to the spread of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel audience attendance for the tapings of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! for the time being," a source close to the show told NBC News.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Samantha Kubota and Diana Dasrath

As fears of the coronavirus sweep the nation, two classic television shows are reducing their risk by taping without live audiences.

A source close to both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” confirmed to NBC News that the shows will not tape in front of live audiences for the foreseeable future "out of an abundance of caution."

The precautions make sense, as both shows typically have older audiences and “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek was diagnosed last year with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, so likely has a compromised immune system.

Another factor executives likely considered is that many of their audience members are from out of town and traveled by air to get to the show tapings.

Both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” tape on the Sony Pictures Television lot near Los Angeles. According to the shows’ websites, they’re scheduled to record in the coming weeks, but there are no tickets available.

Tuesday night, the "Wendy Williams Show" posted on Instagram that "in light of the current health climate" the show won't have a live studio audience "until further notice.

"We will continue to produce a daily live talk show & look forward to welcoming the studio audience back when the time is right," the post said.

As of Tuesday night, there were more than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 30 confirmed deaths, based on NBC News reporting.

Several major events have been canceled as a result of the virus, including the annual tech conference SXSW, in Austin, Texas, and Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

This story was updated 3/10/20 to include details from "Wendy Williams Show" and to update the number of coronavirus cases in the United States.