Coronavirus is Having a Massive Impact on the Entertainment Industry. What Will Happen to Your Favorite Shows, New Movies and Industry Events?

NBCLA Entertainment Reporter Heather Brooker talks with industry insiders and fans to find out more about the pandemics’ far reaching devastation in show business.

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Claudia Dolph is a self-described movie geek and pop culture entertainment fan who also works in the entertainment industry. She says the coronavirus pandemic has threatened to derail her fandom.

“I have a trip coming up to New York and those plans are in limbo right now because shows might be shutting down.They’re talking about live streaming some of these shows that I was going to go yeah it does affect you."

She admits that’s a minor inconvenience compared to what others around the world are dealing with. But through it all, she’s keeping a level head and following the news closely for updates.

“I’m still living my days as I usually would  and just taking it one Con at a time. One event at a time,” Dolph says.

Large entertainment events like E3 and SXSW are being postponed or canceled outright. And officials with WonderCon and San Diego Comic-Con, which isn’t held until the end of July, say they are monitoring the situation, but not canceling the events at this time.

Now a wave of TV shows are removing live audiences from their tapings. “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers” both announced today through an NBC spokesperson that they will suspend live audiences. They say they made the decision in order to “help decrease the rate of transmission in our communities.” There is now a growing list of TV shows including “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy,” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” who will be filming without a live studio audience.

Marc Malkin, Senior Editor at Variety, has been covering the impact coronavirus is having on the entertainment industry. He says the situation in Hollywood is unprecedented. 

“You look at shows like “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” and it’s part of their bread and butter to have a live audience. And with no live audience, how will that affect the energy of the show? Are people going to still tune in? Should they even be doing the shows at this point?” Malkin says.

Variety is reporting that the losses to the movie industry alone are in the billions at this point.

“Right now movie analysts are telling us that because box office is down, the movie industry has lost $2.15 billion dollars across the world,” Malkin says. “And that number is just going to keep growing.”

We’ve reached out to Disney, Paramount, Sony, Warner Brothers and NBC Universal for further information about their plans to address the coronavirus pandemic. But so far, none have responded.

“I think they’re not talking because they don’t know. This is unprecedented. We’ve never dealt with something like this. It’s just a wait and see.”

It’s not just Hollywood executives and A-listers who are in the wait and see period. Malkin says it’s also the below the line employees, freelancers and even fans who will all be affected by the financial loss. The only upside, if you can call it that, is that most streaming services could see a surge as more people stay home and look for something to watch.

Malkin adds, “I think it’s a little too early to see how fandom could be effected, but I do believe in the short term at least, we’re going to be doing a lot more streaming.”

Dolph says that’s something she doesn’t mind doing since streaming is offering such great content. Even so, she still hopes this pandemic is over soon so she can continue geeking out in peace.

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