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'Colbert Report' Suspends Production

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Production has halted on "The Colbert Report" for Wednesday and Thursday, according to fans who had tickets for the rest of the week's tapings.

Third Beat and Mediaite are reporting that audience members were informed late Tuesday night via email, "Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have cancelled our taping for the date of your ticket reservation, February 15, 2012." And ColbertNation.com has been updated with a rerun scheduled for Thursday night's episode.

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Although no new information about his mother's condition has been released, Stephen Colbert is resuming production on "The Colbert Report."

Colbert Nation shows the next episode will air Monday Feb. 20 with guest Ann Patchett.

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Multiple outlets have cited a family illness as the cause of the suspension of "The Colbert Report," and now a person who has a business relationship with the show has told Huffington Post that the host's mother is seriously ill, and the show will remain suspended until he can return.

Fans and supporters have been tweeting messages of love and support for Colbert and his family throughout the day.

Colbert was born the youngest of 11 children to mother Lorna, 91, and father James, who died in a plane accident in 1974 along with two of Colbert's brothers.

Lorna Colbert appeared on a South Carolina television station talking about her famous son in 2008.

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Since there is now a lot of misinformation out there, here's a recap on what we actually know to be true about "The Colbert Report" hiatus:

  • The show did not air last night and will not air tonight
  • Reruns are airing in place of those two shows
  • Production "should resume soon." No further explanation or details have been provided.

Here are a few things that have been said that are either not true or unproven:

  • Stephen Colbert suspended production: All we know is that production on "The Colbert Report" has been suspended. Whether it was the choice of the host, Comedy Central or a mutually agreed upon decision is unknown.
  • Stephen Colbert has been suspended: This, too, is most likely a misinterpretation. To our knowledge, it is the production has been temporarily suspended, and not the host.
  • "The Colbert Report" has been cancelled: According to Comedy Central, this is merely a "temporary halt of production."
  • Stephen Colbert was eaten by a bear: This is not true.

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As concern that a serious family illness is the cause of the sudden absence of "The Colbert Report" this week, fans have begun turning their speculation into heartfelt well-wishes for the comedian and host:

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Comedian and "Report" audience warm-up guy Pete Dominick is clearly being inundated with questions as to his boss' whereabouts. Unfortunately, Dominick doesn't know anything either:

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"Stephen Colbert has suspended production of his satirical comedy show temporarily because of an emergency in Mr. Colbert’s family, according to people familiar with the show."

Full story here

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Echoing the suspicion of many fans, writer Lisa Rogak offered this insight:

Rogak is the author of And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert, which includes detailed information about Colbert's family. Many are also citing the silence of Colbert's normally active Twitter feed as further evidence that a personal emergency is the reason for the hiatus.

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When news initially broke late Wednesday about the suspension of the rest of the week's "Colbert Report" episodes, many fans reacted with concerns over the health of Colbert, his family and his staff. While the majority of speculation still revolves around some kind of personal emergency, others wonder if the interruption could be related either to Colbert's SuperPAC antics, or some kind of corporate dustup with Comedy Central.

However, Brian Stetler, TV & Digital Media reporter for "The New York Times" does not believe that's the case:

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Comedy Central has confirmed the halt of production for the Wednesday and Thursday shows but has released no new information regarding the reasons behind it. Huffington Post has been told that production "should" resume soon.

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PREVIOUSLY: So far, no explanation for the change in production schedule has been given, which has already led to much speculation. According to Third Beat: "The Daily Show has suspended production last-minute due to personal reasons twice during Jon Stewart’s reign: once when his second child was born, and once when a staff member passed away suddenly. If this week’s reasons are of a similar nature, it would be a first for the Colbert Report."

Many fans took to twitter late Wednesday night and Thursday morning after learning of the cancellations to express their hopes that the host and his family and staff were ok.

Colbert made a surprise drop-in on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" on Tuesday night and later tweeted a Valentine's message to his followers.

We will update this post as more information becomes available.

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