Conan plans to resume his late-night TBS talk show Conan by filming remotely with an iPhone with no audience and guests interviewed via video chat. Conan's approximately 75 staffers will help put the show together from their homes. “The quality of my work will not go down because technically that’s not possible,” Conan said in a statement. Conan's longtime executive producer Jeff Ross tells Variety the late-night host “likes to work. He likes to make stuff – as we all do. We are in the business of making content and this what we do. The idea that we can’t do it is a little frustrating. We have a staff that wants to work, that doesn’t want to not get paid, and you just want to keep the business going.” Conan was already scheduled to be on hiatus this week, but he's been posting short comedy videos to social media, as well as filming a special quarantine edition of Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend last Friday. “We were making stuff and putting it out and trying to be a distraction, but we just realized – why not just do the show?” asked Ross. “It will be different ,and it may not be pretty, but we’re going to do it.”
Late-night hosts are finding new relevance by posting online amid coronavirus quarantine: "That means late-night TV is, in a fashion and for a time, continuing – without a live in-studio audience, without an announcer, without a live band, and, perhaps most importantly, often without traditional TV commercials," says Brian Steinberg, adding: "Just as movie studios are quickly testing new financial models by releasing some films for digital purchase at the same time they would normally appear in theaters, or speeding up the time when movies are available for digital viewing, so too are TV’s late-night hosts grasping at new ways of doing business," says Brian Steinberg. "They do so at a time when their younger fans – the ones advertisers covet – are more likely to watch them at times of the day other than between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m."