TV Show Taping, Los Angeles
ANT Farm Review
Show Time 5:00pm
Show Date April 2012
Arrival: My daughter and I arrived at 1pm. Street parking was ample. It is free, there are no meters. There are also no parking ramps that I saw. We walked up and down Seward Street and did not see anyone waiting in line. We decided to go find somewhere to eat, and to use the bathroom. There is a great diner that is right down the street from the “ANT Farm” studio called “GRUB”. We ate there, and had an excellent conversation with an actress and her husband (who is a movie producer). Stars are known to frequent the diner, because it is in the middle of the filming studios. We shared a BLT and roasted potatoes. The sandwich was about $15.00, and well worth the price. It was amazing. Sharing a plate was also a good choice, the food was very filling.
Finding the Line to the Show: After lunch, we went in search of the doorway to get into the studio. We found a nice security guard, that informed us where we should stand to wait (at the gates on the front corner of Seward Street) and that the audience lines up outside until the show starts. I thought we had to wait inside, so we were looking for a door. We ended up walking to the lineup with another mother/daughter to where we were instructed to wait, and I was surprised to see 5 others already in line. They said that they were there since 1pm.
The Wait: It started with about 10 of us. By 2:00 there were about 15. Nobody else really showed up until about 3. The line slowly got longer and since we got there so early, we were certain that we would get into the taping. We were corrected by the guy that was checking everyone’s tickets, that the VIP’s and Guests (ticket holders that were not able to get into past shows) got in first, and then us (we were called “ticket holders). He said that due to the amount of VIP’s, out of the last group of ticket holders only 7 got through and the week prior to that 22 did. There is no way to know how many VIP’s will show up. Some of the VIP’s were relatives of the cast, some worked for Disney, and some knew the stage crew. The man also said that there are a total of 142 or 144 chairs. (I don’t remember the exact number). Once we heard that, we got worried that we wouldn’t get in. It was about 5 minutes until the taping was going to begin, and they let all of us standing in line know how many would get through. 16. My daughter and I were within the first 10. My suggestion is to arrive early. We got there 3 hours early and we almost didn’t get in.
*One cool thing that happened while waiting in line was when some of the cast members came outside into a gated seating area and played basketball. A lot of the girls thought that it was pretty neat to see.
Going into the Studio: After having our bags (purses etc.) inspected/going through security, we were escorted into the studio by a bodyguard. Instructions tell you not to bring cameras, but you can. They do not confiscate them, and even offer time after the taping for pictures.
~ They do not allow pictures to be taken during the filming, and do not allow flash photography at any time.
Seating: We were directed to metal chair seating on the far left of the stage, about 3 or 4 rows from the top. The atmosphere was fun and exciting, the crowd was very excited to be there and the man that was keeping everyone excited made sure to play games and dance with the kids so that they didn’t get bored or tired. There was also a DJ on the back of the stage that we sat on. The music was loud, so be aware of that if you are sensitive to loud noises. You may want to bring ear plugs.
During the Filming: The filming itself was fun, in total it lasted about 5 hours from beginning to end. There were posters and pictures given out while the MC played games with the audience between shoots. About 2-3 hours into the filming we were given water, fruit snacks and a granola bar. It was a nice pick me up. I won’t give any information away about the show since it hasn’t aired yet, but I will say that there was a special guest star. My daughter was very excited about this. She was especially excited when they announced that there would be a meet and greet with the whole cast after the show, including the guest star.
Meet and Greet: After the shooting, all of the guests were led into the cafeteria area of the set to do a meet and greet with the actors and actresses. Everyone was given memorabilia that could be signed during the meet and greet. Members of the show did not take pictures with individual audience members.
Taking pictures and Video: After the show we were told that they would not be doing pictures with the cast, and that we could tape from the bleacher area but not on the floor. That was not the case. They let us have our cameras out, and tape or photograph the set once we were on the floor. We were also allowed to video tape/photograph during the autograph signing. They had us stay in certain areas to take pictures.
At the end of this month there is a new age limitation of 12 years or older. I don’t know how they verify age, at this taping there were kids that were as young as 7. Minimum age right now is supposed to be 10 so I’m not sure how strict they actually are with the age limits.
There is a soda machine on site, $2.00 per drink
There are restrooms on site
Jimmy Kimmel is my favorite late night talk show. While in Hollywood I wanted to get tix to the show but did not have enough time to attend a taping. However the building in which the show is taped is located along Hollywood Boulevard across from the Kodak Theatre and Hollywood/Highland Center. I of course took photos of the outside of the building and do hope to attend a taping there soon. Since he is so close to the Hollywood and Highland center, many of his musical concerts are held there. I would love to experience a concert there.
If you want to attend a TV taping while in Los Angeles my suggestion is to do some research and book in advance. Most shows do not tape in the summer and can take up to a 2 week hiatus around holidays such as Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas etc.
Some shows you can book directly on their website such as Late Night with Jay Leno, and Dr. Phil. Sitcoms and game shows usually go through independant websites such as the few listed below.
The earlier you book with some of these (i.e Dr. Phil) the earlier you get seated and the better seats you wil have. Most are first come first serve. All tapings are free. Just be preapred to get there early to line up.
While I spent most of my time in/around the studios in Burbank, I went with a co-worker to a very cool taping at the Culver City Studios. Culver wasn't like Warner Brothers or Universal, it had real, extravagent buildings and seemed more permanent. On one lot we walked through they were taping a feature film, we went to the other lot where we sat in on a "Deal or No Deal" NBC taping. If you decide to go to one of these tapings, please clear the entire day- it may take quite awhile due to all the takes, and on game shows you have no idea how well the contestant might do. Click the link below for more information on how to acquire lot passes and tickets.
If you want to go to a taping follow these steps:
1. sign up early on the waitlng list at www.ocatv.com.
2. Make a sign with one of the contestants to take with you. You will get better seats with one, than without. Also, if you are on Wednesday, make a sign of the artist of the night.
3. When you get tickets, go early, say noon or 11:30 to line up.
4. If you are there early, wear comfortable shoes! You will stand in line a long time. Look sharp, dress cute.
5. Try to get to the front section, you'll be on AI Tonight on camera.
6. The stage is smaller than you think, so don't sweat any seat you get--the sound is great!
7. Have fun!
If you have one day in L.A. and nothing to do, you can go see Jay Leno in Burbank,CA (North of Hollywood). If you plan it ahead, you can get tickets from the website by ordering a specific date. But if you dont plan it, you need to go get some tickets at the NBC studio souvenir shop. The number of tickets is limited and they open at 8.00AM so be there before 8.00AM so you are sure to get one. The taping starts at 4.30PM and they say on the ticket that you must be in the line at 3.30PM but in fact, if you want a good seat, be there sooner, more like 2.00PM. The studio has about 420 seats and some of them are reserved (the best seats at the front) for those who know people at NBC. It's all over by 5.30 - 6.00 PM. It's a very good experience and you are sure to see stars (I saw Courtney Cox when i went).
My husband had no desire to go . As it turned out we all had a great time . Well worth it!!!! There are age restrictions for the kids and they do check Id. 's so be aware . Often the kids have to be 16. It takes several hours to get through . However ,the time goes quickly . They are continiously breaking during filming . We had a comedian who's job is to explain what 'sgoing on ,. What is required of the audience and at the same time entertain us . It was great fun for all .
I always watched his show at home so I had to see it live. I was a great experience. It is vey easy to tickets to this and others even the same it is taping. The give tv tickets at Venice beach and at the NBC Studio. The Tonight Tapes daily at NBC Studios in Burbank at 5pm but you have to be there by 3:45pm. Trust me the line will be long.
I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of sitcoms. After all, LA is the showbiz capital of the world, so why not see how its all done... for real! Of course not all sitcoms are filmed here but a good portion of them are. Check the website below to see if you're favorite show is being filmed and wot date. Most shows have an age restriction, no one under 18 is allowed to attend.
Some of my best tapings were Friends and That 70's Show. Friends was extremely difficult to get in.
Great thing about it is... its free! Depending on the show, you may be able to get autographs from the cast... no cameras allowed though.
If you plan on going, try to have Friday free. It is advisable to arrive early as most shows always overbook to ensure a full audience. The duration can be anywhere from 3hrs to 5hrs. There is a comedian or host to keep the crowd entertained and to provide info.
Check the site for any other information or feel free to email me if you have any other questions!
I strongly recommend that you set aside half a day to attend a tv show taping. The tickets are free, you can sign up for them online at www.tvtickets.com. However, in order to get the show that you are interested in, you must log on to the website approx 30 days ahead of the showing date that suits you, and keep checking back daily until your show becomes available. And, if your show finally comes up but says "sold out".....don't despair. This happened to me, so I kept checking back and a few days later, it was no longer sold out and I was able to obtain 3 tickets.
Another word of advice, show up early. Even earlier than is suggested on the ticket. It was recommended that we arrive 90 mins early, but we arrived 2 hrs early just to be safe and there was already a line of 65 people ahead of us. The shows are always overbooked to assure a full house, so if you only have one chance to see your show, be there extra early!
Also, be prepared to be there for at least 3 hrs. You wouldn't think it would take that long to film a 30 min sitcom, but it does! We were given a piece of pizza, but this is not guaranteed, so you may want to eat before going.
All that being said, this outing was definitely a highlight of my time in LA. We saw "Everybody Loves Raymond" and it was a very interesting and enlightening look into the entertainment industry.
If you visit Los Angeles, a really fun activity is to attend a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" at NBC Studios. You can request tickets through the mail, or try to get them the day of the taping. If you want to get them on the day of the show, be sure to check and see what guests are attending that day. If it's someone really popular, lines will start at the crack of dawn. No matter the case, you'll want to be in line early (I recommend getting there before noon) to be sure that you get a seat. The ticket office opens at 8 AM and guests are allowed into the studio at 4 PM.
This is a good taping to attend because you're guaranteed to see celebrities and the taping is not nearly as long as some sitcoms, which can take four hours or more!
If you live more than 150 miles away from Los Angeles, you are allowed write for tickets by mail. At least six weeks in advance, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Tickets
3000 W. Alameda Ave.
Burbank, CA 91523.
Tell them which date you'd prefer to see the show, and list three alternate dates.
Studio audience members must be at least 16 years of age or older to attend a taping (this age limit is strictly enforced for The Tonight Show, ID is required). No cameras or cellular phones allowed at the tapings.
Reminder, this is free, as all TV tapings are. I have seen 5 different TV tapings so far, and That 70s show was my favorite. This is because the actors actually pay some attention to the audience and sign autographs after the show. None of the other shows did this. Also, at one point they gave all of the audience free popsicles. It's a nice touch anyway, since we don't expect anything for a free show. I showed up 2 hours before the show (6:30 pm Friday) and was able to get a seat. I had tickets in advance by calling Audiences Unlimited. If you use the website tvtickets.com they only make tickets available 1 month before, and if you don't hurry they will "sell out". So I ordered them 2 months in advance by the automated phone.
I also watched the taping of the 1999 season premier episode of "Veronica's Closet" - http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0118506/combined - on Aug. 23.
It's amazing what work goes into a measly 22 minutes - we were brought in at 4:30, but only got out after 12:30. With just a bottle of water and a single slice of pizza offered, no-one was allowed to leave halfway through.
I visited the Martin Short Show, feeling it a requirement to support the Canadian connection.
To my surprise, Marty did his entrance down my aisle, and across my row!
Too bad I wasn't prepared, else I'd have had a chance to mention I grew up just a few blocks from where the magic of SCTV was centred. Eugene Levy was actually a distant neighbour, and in later years, a client, of mine. Might have made for a neat conversation if we'd had the chance.
This show featured Charlize Theron - http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0000234/ - promoting "The Astronaut's Wife" - http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0138304/combined - as well as Rob Lowe - http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0000507/ - promoting "The West Wing" - http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0200276/combined - before Kris Kristofferson - http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0001434/ - entertained with a guitar & his band.
At the end of the show, Jay had to shoot a promo for the TV movie "Y2K" - http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0215370/combined - in the movie, there's just a bit at the stroke of midnight Dec. 31, 1999 - so we provided the audience.