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There won’t be any studio audiences, and guests won’t be sitting on the couch, but late-night shows are slowly making their way back to TV amid the coronavirus pandemic.
NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is set to return Monday night with a hybrid of new “At Home” segments featuring host Fallon and highlights from previous episodes. The show joins Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and and TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee in returning this week, with hosts and crew working from their respective homes.
Fallon’s three home-based segments that had guests ran for an average of 20 minutes, not enough to fill The Tonight Show‘s usual hourlong slot.
The Daily Show has temporarily rebranded as The Daily Social Distancing Show and last week posted monologues from Trevor Noah and chats between the host and the show’s correspondents to digital and social platforms, while producers and editors worked from home. The on-air version will be similar. Noah is also set to be one of Fallon’s “At Home” guests on Monday.
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, meanwhile, is set to return Wednesday under a similar model, with Bee hosting from her home while crewmembers work from theirs. Conan is planning to follow the same playbook for its March 30 return on TBS.
During the week of March 16, The Tonight Show, CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! posted shortened versions of their shows on digital platforms to solid returns (Colbert’s segments also ran over the air). Fallon’s The Tonight Show: At Home averaged 3.6 million YouTube views for four shows last week (all figures as of publication time), while Colbert’s quarantine editions averaged 3 million views and Kimmel’s “Minilogues,” 2 million. (A YouTube view is anyone who watches 30 seconds or more of a video.)
Fallon’s “At Home” guests for the week are Noah and D-Nice on Monday; John Legend on Tuesday; Niall Horan on Wednesday; Alec Baldwin on Thursday; and Tina Fey on Friday.
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