Coronavirus and TV industry: fewer live audiences, Upfronts, Emmy events

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SXSW 2019. Photo credit: Paul Hudson/Wikimedia Commons.

Watching television is an in-home, quarantine-friendly option, but making it is another story. Late night shows, game shows, sitcoms and performance-style shows like “The Voice” and “The Masked Singer” are all filmed in front of a live studio audience. So far, all those filmings have continued as scheduled, but that could soon change.

It’s also the beginning of Emmy campaigning season, when the big networks like Netflix and Amazon host events with talent from their shows. This year, the TV Academy has already said there will be no audience interactions with those panel members -- so no Q&As, handshakes, or autographs.

Looking ahead to May, there are the network upfront presentations, where the big broadcasters make their cases to advertisers, hoping to lock in sales for the year ahead. Some of the cable networks held upfronts in March, and A+E and AMC have canceled their in-person events, saying they’ll do a digital version instead.