If you are wanting to see a television show taping in person, there are only two places in the country to do it – Los Angeles and New York.
While many shows in the past used to not only allow, but sought out live audiences, those times are dwindling. Today, only talk shows, game shows, talent shows, and a few reality shows have them.
A Short History of the Studio Audience
Studio audiences date back to pre-television during the days of radio. Why the studio audience? They wanted the live response to the stories being told and the interaction between hosts and guests. The most common and appreciated reactions were laughing and cheering, but gasps and sighs were also welcome.
With the onset of television, the studio audience remained. I Love Lucy was the first TV show to be filmed in front of a live audience. At the time, director Desi Arnaz in coordination with cinematographer Karl Freund worked out a way to shoot comedy using multiple cameras to capture different angles of the performance. This allowed for audience reaction and for the actors to feed off their audience much like in the theatre. The concept continues today in the few sitcoms that still utilize a live audience.
Today’s Shows That Continue With a Live Audience
In New York, various talk shows have studio audiences including The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The View, Good Morning America, Today, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The most-prized live audience show is Saturday Night Live. Early morning shows are much easier to get tickets for than the tapings of nighttime shows. Visit the website of the broadcast network to find out how to obtain tickets, which are generally free.
In LA, there is a bit more opportunity for studio audience tickets. Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Conan, and The Ellen Show are all taped in various studios from Burbank to Studio City to Culver City. So are game shows such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, and audience participation shows such as The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. Again, you should visit the network’s website to learn how to obtain tickets.
It is more difficult to get tickets for Dancing with the Stars, or The Voice, and yet harder still Big Brother eviction shows, and finales of Survivor. But if you have an interest, you should always try.
A Few Things to Consider
Tapings of any show can be lengthy. Game shows often tape more than one show at a time. Possible audience members should wear comfortable shoes, have eaten ahead of time, and made use of the bathroom facilities. Recording devices of any kind are not allowed and would be safest left at home. In an audience that may be seen on-air, well-dressed people generally get the best seats. Because of the hot, bright lights for filming, most studios are quite cold, so you may want to bring a sweater or jacket no matter the weather outside.
Being part of a studio audience is an opportunity that shouldn’t be forgone when afforded. What now is an unusual experience is becoming less and less available. Be sure to explore the possibilities before you travel to LA or New York.