Washington [US], December 19 (ANI): As the COVID-19 cases linked to the omicron variant continue to surge in New York City and throughout the world, makers of 'Saturday Night Live' have decided to shoot the show without a live audience, and without musical guest Charli XCX, on Saturday.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a few hours before the episode featuring host Paul Rudd was scheduled to film, the makers of the NBC comedy show took to their official Twitter handle to inform the fans that it would eliminate the live audience.
As per the official statement, the episode will feature a "limited" cast and crew.
"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 continues to follow all government safety guidelines in addition to a rigorous testing protocol," the official message by the makers of the show reads.
Singer Charli XCX, also took to her Instagram handle to announce that she would no longer perform during the episode "due to the limited crew at tonight's taping." The singer wrote that she was "devastated and heartbroken" after she and her team "worked so hard all week alongside the SNL team to bring the most amazing musical performance to life."
She added, "I am currently safe and healthy but of course very sad."
The makers of the show have not yet revealed whether the episode will feature the replacement of Charli XCX.
This isn't the first time that a show has been cancelled in NYC. Numerous Broadway shows are also going dark for varying amounts of dates. The Rockettes also announced their annual Christmas Spectacular has been cancelled for 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.
For the unversed, SNL has used a live audience for the duration of season 47, which began airing in October. The show returned to its famed Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza for season 46 after having aired three remotely filmed episodes in the spring of 2020 amid the COVID-19 outbreak. (ANI)