Late night television shows were among the first productions to shut down once the spread of coronavirus became more threatening this month. That’s mostly because the shows are shot with a live television audience. Initially, some of the shows attempted to stick it out by shooting episodes without a crowd, but eventually entire productions had to be shut down out of an abundance of caution. However, fans will now have some of their late night fixes back in action, albeit with some social distancing changes.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will be returning to Comedy Central this week after delivering a couple digital editions of the program under the new moniker The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah. Furthermore, Late Night with Seth Meyers will be making a bit of a comeback by doing digital editions of the show’s signature “A Closer Look” segment from the comedian’s home. They join Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien, who have been keeping their shows alive with snippets of new segments uploaded to YouTube in the days since their shows were shut down. Find out more below.
The Daily Show Returns to Comedy Central
Deadline has word on The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah, which started last Wednesday, a little bit behind the rest of the late night programming shifting to digital segments. Apparently, it worked well enough that the show will be returning to Comedy Central in its usual 11:00 P.M. ET time slot starting tonight, March 23. The show will be shot, produced and distributed remotely, obviously without an audience.
If you watch the above clip, you’ll see that the online version of The Daily Show was easily the most impressive among all the late night returns. It’s not just a funny segment shot on an iPhone with Trevor Noah messing around at home or Skyping with celebrities for the fun of it. The Daily Show‘s online edition has the same kind of editing, usage of clips, and even images and graphics that the regular show would have (though the other shows improved as last week continued). It’s also been raking in solid viewership with over 3 million views per episode in the first 24 hours of release.
The Daily Show isn’t quite as big of a production as the late night network shows hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Kimmel, so that makes it a little easier for them to return. They don’t have multiple guests, a house band, and they don’t require a lot of set pieces for big segments. So I wouldn’t expect any of those shows to return in full to television at this time. But at least one of them will be returning a little more consistently after sitting things out for a bit. Plus, let’s not forget that Conan will be coming back with new episodes shot on an iPhone starting on March 30.
Late Night with Seth Meyers Doing Digital Editions
When late night shows started shutting down production, Late Night with Seth Meyers took the time to shoot one last edition of their segment “A Closer Look,” focusing on the coronavirus pandemic (watch above). But now Deadline has word the show will be coming back with digital editions of “A Closer Look,” debuting on the Late Night YouTube channel two or three times a week after being recorded from Seth Meyers’ house.
This is a little different from what Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have been doing in their resurgence after production fully shut down. Their segments have been a little more relaxed and low key, often involving their kids and what life is like at home while everyone is self-quarantining. Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert has been delivering monologues close to what The Late Show typically produced. Both Fallon and Colbert have been playing these online segments before reruns of their respective shows on TV, but Seth Meyers will be the first network host reviving a recurring segment digitally (other than monologues), starting this week.
Stay tuned to see how the rest of the entertainment world attempts to make the best use of their time and limited resources as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
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