As reaction to the coronavirus spreads, here are a few quick TV notes:
– First, a quick one for tonight (Thursday, March 12): At 10 p.m. ET, CNN has a town hall: Coronavirus: Fact and Fiction,” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper. From the start of the crisis, Gupta has done a superb job of bringing clarity and sanity to the coverage.
– Now a later one, after the current rush: At 8 p.m. next Thursday (March 19), PBS has “Confronting Coronavirus.” Judy Woodruff anchors, with Amna Nawa, William Brangham and a panel of experts.
– In between, there’s the 11th of 12 presidential debates, at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on CNN. This has one difference caused by the winnowed field (only Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will be involved) and two caused by reaction to the virus: It will be in Washington, D.C. (not Phoenix, as scheduled) and there won’t be a studio audience. Also, Fox News has set a follow-up hour at 10.
– And networks are scrambling to fill all the holes created by the cancellation of pro basketball games and the college tournament. There’s no quick word from CBS, which planned to set four days aside (Thursday through Sunday, March 19-22) for the first week of the college tourney. However, ABC has filled the Saturday-night (March 14) hole created by the pro cancellation. It will have two reruns – “Shark Tank” at 8 p.m. and “American Idol” auditions from 9-11.