As you flip through a promising vacation brochure in search of unique travel information, consider becoming part of a studio audience on your next trip to Los Angeles or New York City. With a little planning, you can include a memorable experience, learn how shows are made, and maybe even see one your favorite stars.
Before you begin, there are some basics. Most tickets are offered free of charge, but the hotter the show, the tougher the ticket. Some are run on a lottery system. Show tickets are available 30 days prior to taping, so check the calendars well in advance. Most shows have minimum age restrictions, often 16 or 18. Some shows have tighter security and tickets will need to be ordered individually, with each person’s name on the ticket. This will be checked against your photo identification when you arrive.
The amount of time required varies, but plan at least 3 to 4 hours for a sitcom to tape. Studios ask that you arrive 60 minutes prior to your start time and you will want to consider traffic and parking into your planning. It is unlikely that you will be able to fit 2 shows into a single day. There can be walking at the larger studios. Disability accommodations are available; just request those when you order tickets.
In making hotel arrangements, remember that Los Angeles traffic is tough. You may wish to be close to the studio for ease. In New York City, hotel location is less of an issue. New York City offers easy transportation by subway or taxi.
In Los Angeles, you will be able to choose from sitcoms, late night shows, and reality shows. New York has few sitcom options, but some daytime and late night gems. Information about tickets can be found on the home page of most shows or studios, but there are also ticket brokers who handle many shows.
Audiences Unlimited, found at tvtickets.com, handles many of the popular free Los Angeles shows, including The Big Bang Theory, Rules of Engagement, 2 Broke Girls, Two and a Half Men, Dr. Phil, Austin & Ally, Melissa & Joey, Sullivan and Son, A.N.T. Farm, and America’s Funniest Home Videos. This is your best bet with kids.
On-camera-audiences.com has many Los Angeles reality shows, like America’s Got Talent, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, The X Factor, Tosh.0 and Top Gear.
If you want game shows, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune tickets are at tvtix.com.
Additional shows in Los Angeles:
Jimmy Kimmel Live!: abc.go.com/tickets
Ellen Degeneres: ellentv.com
Conan O’Brien: TeamCoco.com/tickets
Jay Leno: TheTonightShowInfo.com
Additional shows in New York:
The View and Good Morning America: abc.go.com/tickets
David Letterman: cbs.com/shows/late_show/tickets/
Saturday Night Live: nbc.com/tickets