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Coronavirus' Effect on Entertainment & Sports: Even MORE Postponements, Cancellations, and Delays

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By Alyssa McCraw

Ultra Music Festival. South by Southwest. These two major events set the precedent allowing postponement for a host of other gatherings. Coachella came next, followed by its sister festival Stagecoach. Even for ticketholders, it all seemed a bit "distanced" - until last night, when Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson confirmed that they have both tested positive for coronavirus.

Hanks' Elvis Presley biopic has halted production. Many major movies have been forced to push back their release date. In fact, the ninth "Fast and Furious" flick has already had to slap 12 months onto their post-production schedule.

And now, we move on to television land.

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Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson at the Academy Mueseum of Motion Pictures.
Gettyimages | Gregg DeGuire

The fourth season of "Riverdale" has also been temporarily paused due to a production member coming into contact with a person that recently tested positive for coronavirus. Other shows like "Falcon and the Winter Soldier," "Survivor," and "The Amazing Race" have also called it quits for now. It was announced mid-evening on March 12th that both Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon would be suspending production until March 30th. This comes as a change to the initial plan of shooting their late-night shows without a studio audience. As the New York Daily News put it, "NBC followed a growing trend of increased anti-coronavirus pandemic measures and called off production entirely Thursday."

Giphy | Nickelodeon

The CW, Discovery, FOX, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia have made the decision to cancel their upcoming upfront presentations. These events exist to secure the funding of billions of dollars from advertisers - you know, the stuff that makes television possible in the first place. The Walt Disney Company (ABC) has yet to say if they will be canceling their event, but it's likely they will due to Thursday's announcement regarding their multiple theme parks' closures.

Back in the movie world for a sec: New York's Tribeca Film Festival has chosen to postpone indefinitely. Their originally slated dates were still over a month out, to be held across April 15-26th.

An empty, closed box off is very eerie.
Gettyimages | Ezra Shaw

Music artists Billie Eilish, Ciara, Green Day, Khalid, Avril Lavigne, Mariah Carey, Khalid, Lauren Daigle, BTS, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, and the Zac Brown Band are among many who continue to cancel, suspend, or postpone their current touring obligations. Broadway has gone dark, and any theater holding more than 500 people is banned from operating.

Sports fans have also received quite a barrage of bad news over the last few days. The NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL have all followed suit as the entertainment world has. The NCAA also canceled March Madness. They are also not allowing a public audience at the gymnastics finals later this spring. But, there is one very major, and - considering the cirumstances surrounding Covid-19 - very odd sporting event that's still forging ahead.

A couple takes a selfie at the London 2012 Summer Games.  One fan is wearing a surgical mask.
Gettyimages | Tomohiro Ohsumi

The Olympics. Yes, this could change at any minute, but just as the world was shutting down over Wednesday and Thursday collectively, the Olympic torch lighting ceremony was held in Greece's Ancient Olympia. It will now undergo a week-long torch relay around Greece before being passed on to the host country - Japan - at which time it will be relayed on foot across 98% of Japan's population over the course of four months before finally entering the stadium to commence the Opening Ceremonies.

You can stay up to date with all entertainment-related shutdowns by clicking here.

For sports-related shutdown updates, click here.

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