LYNDA HIRSCH ON TELEVISION -- GOSSIP

By Lynda Hirsch

March 21, 2020 4 min read

In this dystopia, television may seem irrelevant. Wrong. It is a microcosm for what is happening. All the daytime dramas have suspended production. "General Hospital" was the first. Makes sense: When it is not mob-centric, it revolves around medicine. "Days of Our Lives" tapes several months in advance.

The others have a stockpile of several weeks.

Hopefully, none of your loved ones tested positive. Many of your beloved daytime figures have been affected though. A staffer on the "Today" tested positive for the virus, leaving Al Roker, and others, in isolation. I worked with him for years when he was a Cleveland weatherman. He is a very social animal. So, having to hunker down must not be easy. Of course, he is hunkering down with his wife ABC news maven Deborah Roberts, so it is not all bad.

Joy Behar, of "The View," placed herself in isolation. Her co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who had severe health issues a few months back, has been tested. Her results await. Almost every talk show banned audiences. Ellen was going have her audience use the honor system. She realized there is no honor among fans who have waited a year or more to get a golden audience ticket. "CBS This Morning" news show will relocate to the Ed Sullivan Theatre after the closure of CBS Broadcast Center from numerous staffers testing positive for COVID-19.

Many daytime and nighttime talk shows have shut down. No word on when they will offer new shows. Just like the rest of us, they do not know how long it will last. Sort of like when will Peter August ("General Hospital") be exposed as the bad guy he is? Just when you think he is about to be caught, he catches a break. Hopefully, we will catch a break from this virus.

Young and Restless' Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher) has tested positive. Not only is he homebound, he must keep away from his husband and their son, Monte. He can look at those loved ones from a distance ones but cannot touch. He posted on his Instagram that he feels "fine." His 102 F fever is heading downward. He will post his health update on Instagram.

Over 125,000 behind the scene TV folks are out of work. Their union promises to give them financial relief. SAG/AFTRA has ordered news stations to provide hazmat suits for reporters working in infected areas.

Maurice Benard says his mental health issues are making him anxious. He plans to tamp down those feeling by posting on social media. He says it will help him and others deal with anxiety.

Many a steady talking head are looking shaky as they are reporting from home. MSNBC Katy Tur is on-air as I write. She voiced concern for her husband and infant son. Even more when she was told her son could get the virus.

One of the best cop shows, "Hill Street Blues," always ended the roll call with the admonishment, "Be careful out there." To everyone: Be careful out there and in there.

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay

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