Eerie change to Aussie TV shows
Some Australian TV personalities will no doubt be missing in the weeks and months ahead.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads in Australia, studio audiences have very quickly become a thing of the past, with Network 10 programs The Project, Dancing With The Stars, Studio 10 and the upcoming Australian Survivor: All Stars Reunion all filming on closed sets.
The ABC's Q&A will tonight broadcast without a studio audience.
It follows similar measures in the US, where popular shows like Ellen and The View have done away with studio audiences.
Comedian Tommy Little certainly noticed the difference during The Sunday Project last night, pausing after his first joke of the show was met with an awkward silence.
"Wow, I forgot we had no studio audience and thought, 'My first joke really didn't go off.'" he said.
Later in the show, the panel crossed to Courtney Act, ahead of her appearance as a guest judge on Dancing With the Stars that night.
"It's going to be very weird, really peculiar without the audience. You're used to doing the dress rehearsal without the audience and then you get there on the night and the audience adds all this energy," she said.
"Remember the good old days of GMA with Bert? Rhonda Burchmore would finish her number and then there'd be Belvedere and John Foreman giving a smattering of clapping … It'll be a bit awkward."
Sure enough, after The Project finished, Dancing With the Stars hosts Amanda Keller and Grant Denyer greeted viewers to a "very different night" for the program.
"Normally this place would be packed to the rafters with 600 fans frothing for another night of dancing," said Denyer.
"But the escalation of the coronavirus means we're not in normal times - it means that public safety has to come first," said Keller.
Indeed - but it's a tricky transition for viewers, who noted how quiet and at-times awkward the show was, while praising the hosts for keeping their energy levels high in an empty studio:
#DWTSau proving reality tv competitions really do need an audience... the jokes are so awkward— libs 🦋 (@LibbyyyGraceee) March 15, 2020
Send Grant and Amanda to every show without a studio audience! Such a tough gig but they are smashing it!!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼 #DWTSau— C L A I R E (@ClaireeBear95) March 15, 2020
#DWTSau weird tonight, no audience 😔 oh well, I'm tuned in. Go guys 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽— Amy 🐨 (@AmyandColin) March 15, 2020
Dancing with the Stars looks so strange without an audience 😔 #DWTSau— Bec (@bec_giddy) March 15, 2020
Watching #DWTSau minus the audience is so weird!! Considering I was supposed to be in the audience myself tonight, were at home applauding extra loud!— Anthony Madaffari (@Madaferrari) March 15, 2020
My respect goes out to Grant & Amanda. Hosting in this climate. Without a studio audience? What a hard job! Amazing work. #DWTSau— Madeline Kenzie (@mkenzie___) March 15, 2020
Channel 7 has confirmed Australia's Got Talent will continue to film but without a studio audience and that its breakfast show will use more remote crosses.
"Productions are largely on track at this stage although a number of adjustments have already been made as you'd expect. Australia's Got Talent is now proceeding without a live audience while on Sunrise, with the exception of a small number of regulars who will be in studio, all guests will be remote. Like everyone, we are monitoring the situation closely, continually evaluating, and will adapt as things evolve," a Seven spokesperson said.