The spread of COVID-19 has the US and most of the world in a tough spot. Many non-essential businesses have closed, and people are asked to stay home in self-isolation and practice social-distancing at all times. Many popular television programs, talk shows and late-night shows have announced an undetermined length of hiatus.
However, that doesn’t mean the air has gone silent. Social media has become a new entertainment platform as entertainers have migrated from the stage and screen to stream content, concerts and talk shows, making these directives a bit more tolerable.
Television isn’t canceled
The spread of coronavirus prompted many networks to put programming on hiatus, often without an estimate about a return date. But social media has encouraged innovative new strategies for programming and broadcasting, and many shows have adopted the format as their new, temporary platform.
The popular Graham Norton Show recently announced it will return on April 10, albeit in a new, shorter “virtual format.” Norton will stay self-isolated and feature interviews with virtual guests.
For fans of the sarcastic and occasionally caustic wit of shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, you can still get daily doses on Instagram. Trevor Noah hosts Daily Show-esque segments from home, often multiple times a day, on the show’s official IG account, @thedailyshow.
The Late Show continues with segments and guest interviews on their official account, @colbertlateshow, while Colbert himself entertains followers with clips of his own quarantine on his personal account, @stephenathome.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has been reformed into the hashtag #FallonAtHome with clips of quarantine life, celebrity interviews and even live performances by The Roots via social-distancing video chats.
Celebrities become content creators
Popular television shows aren’t the only ones adopting the live-streaming format to connect with audiences. Many celebrities have started their own at-home talk shows.
Miley Cyrus is broadcasting a live-streamed talk show every weekday called “Bright Minded: Live With Miley” on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
The Big Bang Theory star Kaylee Cuoco had already jumped on board with the format before the coronavirus scare with “Cup of Cuoco,” which airs on her personal Instagram, @kayleycuoco, and features morning discussions distinguished by an array of her favorite nightshirts and collectible coffee mugs.
In an effort to bring good news and inspirational stories to audiences stuck in isolation, John Krasinski (yep – that’s Jim from “The Office”) launched a YouTube channel called “Some Good News” that has become one of the top trending accounts on the site.
You can also tune in with brutally-honest comedian Whitney Cummings as she hosts her podcast “Good For You” on Apple podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and Instagram.
We’re all in this together
Social media gives us the ability to interact with others without ever leaving our residence, or even our bed, for that matter, which makes it an incredibly huge resource during this time of self-isolation.
Jack Black broke the internet in his Tik Tok debut with a shirtless “Quarantine Dance” and epic-ly brought cheer to everyone’s day. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco continues to bring laughs with snapshots of his quarantined life on his Instagram account, @sebastiancomedy, and actor Leslie Jordan hilariously recalls Hollywood stories and struggles with his “exercise regime” in his notorious Southern drawl with “Pillow Talk” posts on his account, @thelesliejordan.
Actor Chris Hemsworth is offering six weeks of free virtual workouts on his fitness app, Centr.
For anyone looking to improve their culinary skills, Chef Gabriel Rucker (@ruckergabriel) streams live cooking classes on Instagram Live.
Concerts are being live-streamed and other musicians, like Keith Urban and John Legend, have hosted their own private concerts on their personal social media accounts.
Regardless of how we decide to spend our time during the shutdown, we certainly aren’t short of options.