The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License,
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Free Tickets to American TV Show Tapings

By Vicki McClure Davidson


Would you like to see Oprah or Drew or Ellen in person, for free, as part of the studio audience? How about watching the taping of a situation comedy show?

Audience of American TV's popular game show, The Price Is Right | Photo credit:

Audience of American TV's popular game show, The Price Is Right 

If you live near or are going to be in the New York City or Los Angeles/Hollywood areas a few weeks (or months) from now, you can request free tickets to sit in the audience of the show's pre-air taping. Many people aren't aware that tickets for the taping of most game shows, talk shows, and live-audience sitcoms offer free tickets for people to watch the show in the studio. Except for some specials and charitable events, most audience tickets are complimentary.

But many tickets go fast, especially for the more popular shows, so once your plans are set, act quickly.

It's important to request tickets months ahead, if possible. For some shows, it's a minimum six-month wait. Showing up at the studio without a ticket may prove to be disappointing, as these studios are relatively small. Some offer "stand-by" tickets, should they not have enough ticket holders arrive to fill the studio. You need to get to the studio several hours before the scheduled taping and wait in line; there are often many other people hoping to get admission as a stand-by. It's a risk not worth taking if you're only in the city for a given day, so plan ahead. If you live in the area, it may be worth the risk to you.

To order tickets is usually by phone, U.S. mail, or online. Do not confuse ordering tickets to be in the studio audience with actually being on the show. With the exception of The Price Is Right, contestants chosen in a separate process from the audience.

Never pay for TV studio audience tickets. They are always free, so if a website says it can sell you "better" tickets, they're trying to scam you.

Click on any of the TV shows listed in the table to go to that show's ticket request web page. Guidelines differ for all shows, so be sure to carefully read the instructions about how to order tickets, taping schedules, age restrictions, parking restrictions, dress code, and many other do's and don'ts. Many offer special arrangements for large groups. A few shows use a lottery system for tickets, so there are no guarantees that you will be selected for those. Read all the FAQs on the website for important information.

Free Ticket Requests for TV Shows with Studio Audiences
Updated: Spring 2009 (subject to change)
Los Angeles/Hollywood Tapings
New York City Tapings
Ellen (The Ellen DeGeneres Show) Live with Regis and Kelly
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? The Tyra Show
The Price Is Right Saturday Night Live
American Idol The Late Show with David Letterman
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
America's Got Talent (LA Taping) America's Got Talent (NYC Taping)
Jeopardy! The View
The Dr. Phil Show Good Morning America
According to Jim Judge Judy
America's Funniest Home Videos Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Dancing with the Stars
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Deal or No Deal
The New Adventures of Old Christine
The Big Bang Theory
Two and a Half Men
Chicago Tapings
Lifestyle Magazine The Oprah Winfrey Show
Do Not Disturb The Jerry Springer Show
Last Call with Carson Daley
Opportunity Knocks

FYI: Tapings of ABC soap operas and ABC primetime dramas are not open to the public.

Other resources to locate show tickets are the websites of ticket-management companies that keep track of many TV show tapings and schedules. They upload new information on a frequent basis. Here are links to a few of them:

On Camera Audiences




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