How to Get TV Show Tickets in Los Angeles

Musical guest Paul Weller on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Photo by: Adam Larkey/ABC Adam Larkey/ABC

Being part of the audience for the taping of a television show might be the quintessential Hollywood experience. It's a great way to find out how your favorite sitcom or talk show is made, and to catch a glimpse of your favorite TV personalities. Timing is important—remember that many network series go on hiatus between March and July. And tickets to the top shows are in greater demand than others, so getting your hands on them takes planning and possibly some waiting in line. Tickets are always free, usually limited to two per person, and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Some other things to know:

  • Several episodes may be shot on a single day, so you may be required to remain in the theater for up to four hours, on top of the recommended one-hour early check-in. 
  • Many shows don't admit children under the age of 10. In some cases, no one under the age of 18 is admitted. 
  • The sets of most talk shows are kept at a cool temperature (the hot lights raise the temperature onstage). Be sure to bring a sweater or jacket.
  • Dress well—no T-shirts or shorts—and your chances of getting a front-row seat increase dramatically.
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Set of "Dancing with the Stars." Photo by: Serecki/Wikimedia Commons Serecki/Wikimedia Commons
Tickets are sometimes given away to the public outside popular tourist sites such as TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and Universal Studios in the Valley. L.A.'s visitor information centers downtown and in Hollywood often have tickets as well. But if you're determined to see a particular show, contact the following suppliers:

Audiences Unlimited (www.tvtickets.com) is a good place to start. It distributes tickets for numerous sitcoms, including One Day at a Time, Fuller House, and more. The company's website and services are well-organized, informative, and fully sanctioned by production companies and networks. ABC, for example, no longer handles ticket distribution directly, referring most inquiries to Audiences Unlimited instead. 

1iota (1iota.com) also manages tickets for the major networks. The site has pages for individual shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Voice. Once you put in your request, you may have to wait a few weeks to find out if your tickets have been granted. You'll be notified via email if they are.

TVTix.com (tel. 323/653-4105; www.tvtix.com) distributes tickets for many talk and game shows as well.

Tapings take place at various studios throughout town. In the slides that follow, we've listed some of the top studios, their popular shows, and how to get tickets to see them. 
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"The Price is Right" - still popular since it began in the 1950s. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS. Monty Brinton/CBS
For CBS Television City, call tel. 323/575-2458 between Monday and Friday from 9am to 5pm to see what's being filmed while you're in town. Tickets for The Late Late Show with James Corden can be found online, while Real Time with Bill Maher can be requested at this link. Visit On Camera Audiences for tickets to The Price is Right. Audiences Unlimited (www.tvtickets.com) fills the in-studio seats for many CBS sitcoms.
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"America's Got Talent" Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC Trae Patton/NBC
Free tickets for several NBC shows can be requested at On Camera Audiences. Check out the site to see what’s filming and you could snag a seat in the audience of America’s Got Talent, among others.
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"Dr. Phil" is filmed at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA. Robert Trachtenberg
Most live-audience shows shot at Paramount Studios are handled by Audiences Unlimited, which can be reached by phone at 818/260-0041 or online at TVTickets.com. An exception is Dr. Phil, which you can book ahead online at the show's website. The Warner Bros. lot in Burbank is home to must-see TV tapings like Ellen and Conan. Tickets for these shows can be found at ellentv.com/tickets and teamcoco.com/tickets, respectively.



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Hosts Vanna White and Pat Sajak of "Wheel of Fortune." Photo: Carol Kaelson Carol Kaelson
Jeopardy!: What is a trivia quiz that's not for the fainthearted? Log on to www.jeopardy.com/be-a-contestant/.

Wheel of Fortune: Less about your skill with the puzzles than your luck spinning the carnival wheel. Log on to www.wheeloffortune.com/jointheshow/.

The Price Is Right: Contestants are chosen from the studio audience to test their shopping expertise. Log on to on-camera-audiences.com/shows/The_Price_is_Right.
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Host Wayne Brady and contestant on "Let's Make a Deal." Photo by: Sonja Flemming/CBS Sonja Flemming/CBS
If you're serious about trying to get on a game show, be sure you have some flexibility in your schedule. Although most production companies go out of their way to give priority to out-of-town contestants, you should be prepared to return to Los Angeles one or more times for a final audition and/or taping. Here are some tips that might help you prepare:

The Bubblier, the Better: Be friendly, cheerful, and bright at your audition and during taping. Be good-natured when you lose or make mistakes, and, above all, be exuberant if you win the big money.

Dress for Success: Contestant coordinators look for players who won't alienate viewers. It's awfully hard for a granny in the heartland to relate to a trendy big-city type. So dress as conservatively as possible for your auditions, and avoid wearing white, black, stripes, metallics, or anything else that could require lighting and camera adjustments.

Most Unglamorous Advice: Remember income taxes. Should you be lucky enough to win big, bear in mind that all cash winnings, as well as the retail value of all your prizes, will be reported to the IRS as earnings.


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