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Studio audiences for Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune cancelled due to coronavirus

Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak
Alex Trebek on Jeopardy! and Pat Sajak on Wheel of Fortune. Pic credit: Sony Pictures

As of today, some of your favorite game shows such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! will be quieter than usual.

That’s because they will be filming without a live audience due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Sony has confirmed to ABC that “for the time being” both shows will be cancelling live tapings with studio audiences. They have not specified a timeline for when thing will be back to normal and audiences will be allowed in studio again.

Most likely this will happen once coronavirus is under control.

For now, however, you will have to get used to not hearing the rumbling applause — at least not a real one — when the shows are introduced and the hosts make their appearance on stage.

Precautions against coronavirus

The hosts of both shows fall into the vulnerable age group of men over 60, putting them at a higher risk if they get the disease.

Alex Trebek, 79, could be considered especially vulnerable right now as just a year ago he announced his ongoing battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Studio audience is now banned from tapings of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!
Jeopardy! will not have a studio audience until further notice. Pic credit: Sony Pictures

He recently spoke about his battle with the disease, saying, “There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on.”

One year into his battle, he remains hopeful despite the grim statistics, adding, “The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%… I’m very happy to report, I have just reached that marker.”

Wheel of Fortune

Both Pat Sajak, 73, and Vanna White, 63, the host and hostess of Wheel of Fortune are among the most vulnerable COVID-19 group as well.

Sajak is also still on the path to full recovery after undergoing emergency surgery last November caused by a blocked intestine.

He later opened up about his health scare to Good Morning America, revealing how he felt a “horrific pain” in his stomach after coming home from a walk with his daughter Maggie last November.

“I didn’t know what it [was] — but within two and a half hours, I was in surgery,” he said, adding, “It was that quick and intense.”

It’s still not known exactly what caused his health scare, but the surgery was successful.

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Alicea has an obsession for reality TV and pop culture, and has contributed to various magazines, websites, blogs and books. She is also a certified... read more
Alicea James
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