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

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.
Image: ABC's "Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time"
"Jeopardy!" will stop taping in front of a studio audience for the foreseeable future. Eric McCandless / ABC via Getty Images file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
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 the shows confirmed to NBC News that both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” will not tape in front of a live audience for the foreseeable future "out of an abundance of caution."

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.

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.