Saturday Night Live will tape without a live audience on Saturday (Dec. 18) as COVID-19 cases linked to the omicron variant continue to surge in New York City and throughout the world.
The venerable NBC comedy show announced the decision to its social media channels roughly eight hours before the episode featuring host Paul Rudd and musical guest Charli XCX was scheduled to tape.
“Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and the show will have limited cast and crew,” the show’s message read. “The show continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol.”
This follows a spate of recent COVID-related cancellations for live entertainment in NYC, including numerous Broadway shows going dark for varying amounts of dates. The Rockettes also announced their annual Christmas Spectacular has been canceled for 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.
Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of “Saturday Night Live” and the show will have limited cast and crew.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) December 18, 2021
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.