NBC will cancel this week’s planned episodes of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” after the host tested positive for COVID-19, marking the latest challenge for TV’s late-night programs as they navigate production amid the pandemic.
Meyers announced his condition via tweet on Tuesday, noting that he feels fine and is fully vaccinated with a booster shot. Meyers hosted an original broadcast on Monday, talking to guests including Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz and Justin Hartley from “This Is Us” and musician David Byrne.
The bad news is, I tested positive for COVID (thanks, 2022!) the good news is, I feel fine (thanks vaccines and booster!) We are canceling the rest of the shows this week, so tune in next Monday to see what cool location we will try and pass off as a studio!!!
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) January 4, 2022
“Late Night” isn’t the only wee-hours program to grapple with the challenges of putting on a show amid coronavirus spikes. NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” had to retool its annual holiday episode in December due to concerns about the contagion, running an episode hosted by Paul Rudd and a handful of others who largely introduced taped segments and post sketches, with no live audience and no musical guest. Jimmy Fallon, Meyers’ late-night colleague, announced earlier this week that he tested positive for COVID-19 during a planned holiday hiatus for NBC’s “Tonight,” but that he had since recovered.
Other hosts have had to contend with the issue as well. HBO had to cancel a broadcast of Bill Maher’s “Real Time” back in May of last year when Maher tested positive.
Most of the programs spent months doing “at home” broadcasts that featured the hosts holding forth from a room at their house; a garage; or even part of their usual studio, with only a skeleton crew in place. All the shows have returned to in-studio habitats, most with live — and tested — audiences attending.