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UPDATE: 'Colbert Report' Production Suspended as Colbert Tends to Ailing Mother

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Feb 16, 2012 | 6:46am EST

Stephen ColbertUPDATE: Fans' curiosities have run wild ever since it was announced that The Colbert Report was going on an unexpected hiatus for an undetermined period of time. Unfortunately, the truth behind the development is the bad news we imagined: Stephen Colbert is taking time off from his series to tend to his mother, 91 year-old Lorna Colbert, who is in poor health.

The New York Post indicates that Stephen and his mother are very close, and that he is being particularly attentive to her in this time of need. The news was kept under wraps due to the private nature of the their family.

Our thoughts are with the entire Colbert family, and we wish Lorna Colbert a speedy and substantial recovery.

EARLIER: If you paid a visit to ColbertNation.com today, you may notice that there are no new clips from The Colbert Report. You may have thought, "I didn't know The Colbert Report was on vacation." And the truth is, the show is not. Instead, the Feb. 15 and 16 tapings were cancelled at the very last minute, for reasons yet to be explained.

Comedy Central spokesperson Steve Albani released a statement to Hollywood.com explaining the sudden blackout: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the show will air repeat episodes on Wednesday, February 15 and Thursday, February 16." 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cancellation of the Feb. 15 taping was so abrupt that there were audience members already sitting in their seats when Comedy Central sent the email notification that the episode had been cancelled. Fans took to Twitter to express worry and disappointment, and many are concerned that the sudden silence signals a corporate or financial struggle between the host and the comedy network. Is it possible that the faux pundit has but his network On Notice? Others, however worry that Colbert or a member of his staff may be in poor health. Stephen Colbert has not used his personal Twitter in two days, though the official Colbert Report feed managed to eke out a joke about President Obama's contraception debate.

And it would seem that health issues are a valid concern. Comedy publication The Third Beat makes the point that the only two times The Colbert Report's sister series, The Daily Show, has been cancelled were when Jon Stewart's daughter was born and when a member of the staff suddenly died. Hopefully, the reasoning behind the Colbert blackout isn't on the dire side of the spectrum.

There is no defined return date for the series.

Click on the image for more photos of Stephen Colbert.

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