Whether you’re a native or a visitor, going to a live television taping is likely on your bucket list. After all, you’re in the entertainment capital of the world; why not find a way to be part of it?
Attending a taping will give you the opportunity to see some of your favorite stars and celebrities in person and enjoy live entertainment that is usually free! (All tv show tickets are free if you book through the show itself.)
Tapings are often done in very small studios, so the experience is often an up close and personal one, giving you a chance to see what show business is really like.
Does that sound fun? Then keep reading for our hints and tips on where to go, what to do and how to plan to get on tv, or at least get to a taping of one of your favorite shows!
Do Your Research and Find the Show That Appeals to You
There are lots of different kinds of shows to choose from, all of which need a live studio audience. Are you interested in a game show? A sitcom? A reality show? A children’s show?
Check out a list of tapings and see which appeals to you. Think about who you will be with as well. Dr. Phil may not be the best choice if you’ll have kids with you, and you’ll need a crew that enjoys singing if you plan on attending a taping of The Voice.
Many popular shows sell out very quickly. In late March 2019, for example, The Voice was sold out through late April and so was the Ellen Degeneres Show. Other shows, such as Jimmy Kimmel, had only a few dates in April open.
This just means that you’ll need to plan ahead; look at your calendar for when you are planning your trip or when you plan to try and be ready to need to book your free tickets up to a month in advance.
Be Ready to Get There Early and Spend Some Time
Since the tickets are free, many people will reserve tickets and then not show up. This means that most television shows overbook and actually give out more tickets than they have seats.
Sometimes, also, the guests on the show will bring more people with them than usual, and those people need seats. What this means is that a ticket in hand does not necessarily guarantee a seat.
In any case, you should plan to arrive early to have the best chance of being the one who gets in.
Tapings often take up to six hours as well (depending on the show); remember that what you see at home is the final product. Stops and starts and redos will be part of the experience. Plan to spend three to six hours if you are going to a show taping.
Last Minute? Try “Standby”
Since people often don’t show up for the show (even if they have tickets), many shows offer the opportunity to stand in a “standby” line. The show doesn’t want any empty seats to show up on camera, so it’s to their benefit to let last-minute folks have a chance.
Check the website of the show to see if “standby” is an option and then follow their directions on how to make it happen. Be ready, however, to not get in.
Check the Etiquette
Before you go, check the rules and the audience guide for the show. Most shows have guidelines and rules about what you can (and can’t) wear and what you can and can’t bring to the show taping.
Sometimes shows also have age requirements. Ellen Degeneres’ show, for example, requires all people at the taping to be 14 years of age or older, and everyone (including the minors) must show an I.D.
Go Check out the Audience Hunters
If you’re looking for an adventure (even last-minute), insiders know that the area in front of Hollywood’s famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater is often full of “audience hunters.”
What’s an “audience hunter?” Just what it sounds like. They are staffers who were sent out to try and find people to come to the live taping. There’s no guarantee they will be out and no guarantee of what kind of show you’ll get to see, but it can be a fun thing to stop by and see what’s on offer! (If nothing else, you’ll get to see the theater and the footprints!)
Watching a TV taping is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at how television magic is made while being entertained by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
You can plan to see a taping and then go on a studio tour or check out other pop culture sights in LA. Whatever you choose, go check out the rules, ticket procedure and guidelines for your favorite show and give it a try!