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Attend A Television Show Taping

Home > New York > Fun Things To Do | Shows | Television
by Joann Jovinelly (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.
Published March 1st 2011
Have you ever wanted to be a part of a studio audience to support one of New York City's many television shows? The process of obtaining tickets to participate in television tapings is specific to each show. If you are patient and willing to send a few e-mails or make a few calls, tickets are free and available, sometimes even to large groups, for instance, if you wanted to take your entire sewing circle to MARTHA.

Below is a sample of some popular shows that feature studio audiences. Keep in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive; there are far too many shows based in New York City to mention them all here.) The rules are typically the same: No cameras or other recording devices are permitted; bring a state-issued photo ID for admittance; dress appropriately and in layers as TV studios are usually cold; expect long lines.

Saturday Night Live
Gleaning coveted SNL tickets is a task unique to this list because it's the only television show that releases them in a lottery system. Each August, and only in August, anyone interested in tickets is instructed to send his or her contact information in an e-mail to Since you cannot request the day or time, if your name is chosen you will receive two tickets to a random show by mail. Your only other alternative is to request stand-by tickets on the morning of the show.

30 Rockefeller Plaza (@49th St.)
New York, New York

Late Night With David Letterman
Getting tickets to see David Letterman and his pals couldn't be simpler. All you need to do is fill out this online form and answer a trivia question about the show. Tickets are nontransferable and you can only request them once every six-months. In person requests are also taken at the Late Show box office, but not when the show is on hiatus.

Ed Sullivan Theater
1697 Broadway (b'w W. 53rd and W. 54th St.)
New York, New York

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Tickets to Jimmy Fallon are available by calling the NBC ticket office at (212) 664-3056. Generally, tickets are booked about one month in advance. Although you can request up to four tickets, you can only do so every six months. All audience members must be at least 17 years old. There are also special seats called "Band Benches" reserved for obsessive fans of musical acts that often appear on the show. Visit the website for more information. Last-minute availability for tickets can also be found on the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Twitter Feed. Stand-by tickets are also available at the NBC box office at 30 Rock each morning.

30 Rockefeller Plaza (@49th St.)
New York, New York

It's easy to request tickets to see the Martha Stewart Show and you can do so here. You might have to fill out a form and tell her staff a bit about yourself, but hey, you might also get to go home with a goodie bag full of Martha's Good Things. And don't be surprised when they ask you not to wear black; it's a big no-no on the set.

Chelsea Studios
221 W. 26th Street (b'w Seventh and Eighth Avenues)
New York, New York

Good Morning America
Those who brave the elements and wait outside the Good Morning America Studios in Times Square between 7AM–9AM may get a chance to be on the show. You might even get the opportunity to tour the studio and meet the anchors in person. Beginning in May, Good Morning America begins its Summer Concert Series, which is a big draw for music fans and an easy way to see national acts for free. Check the GMA website for details beginning in April.

Times Square Studios
44th Street and B'way
New York, New York

Dr. Oz Show
Tickets for this popular daytime medical advice show are easy to get by calling the NBC ticket line at (212) 664-3056 (Option 4). They are usually distributed between two and six weeks prior to taping. You can request up to four tickets at a time. Although stand-by tickets are also available at the NBC box office, it is recommended that you obtain them by phone. And again, since you'll probably be seen on camera, producers request that you wear bright or pastel colors and no busy patterns or black.

30 Rockefeller Plaza (@49th St.)
New York, New York

The View
Join Whoopi, Joy, Barbara, Elisabeth, and Sherri for some funny moments or to get the dish on your favorite celebs. You first need to register to get tickets on the ABC website. They are then distributed to registered individuals by mail, usually about three weeks before the show date. Stand-by tickets are also distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis outside ABC Studios at 9:30AM sharp on Mondays–Thursdays.

ABC Studios
320 W. 66th Street
New York, New York

Photo credits: Martha Set by michaelaion; Ed Sullivan Theatre by WallyG; and Good Morning America Set by Mikenan1
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Why? Because going behind-the-scenes is cool.
When: Varies
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