While tickets to the tapings are free, requests have to be submitted weeks and months or even a year in advance for the really popular shows. Tickets are sometimes available on a standby basis, however, but if a specific date is desired, it’s best to request it in advance.
Wait for NYC TV Show Tickets Depends on Popularity of Program
New York Show Tickets provides a round-up of television shows taped in the Big Apple. It also lists an average of how far in advance tickets should be requested, as well as what the chances of getting last-minute standby tickets are.
For example, it notes that ticket requests for the very popular Live with Regis and Kelly should be submitted six to 12 months in advance. It does note, however, that potential audience members have a fair chance of getting in if they just show up.
On the other hand, New York visitors who want to see The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart only need to request tickets a week in advance. Tickets for the Jerry Springer and Maury Povich shows are usually available on requests made two to three weeks before the taping date.
Just Show Up for Some Shows
Good Morning America on NBC and The Early Show on CBS do not require tickets. Audience members just need to show up outside the studios for the live shows which begin at 7 a.m.
NYC TV Show Tickets Can Be Requested Online
Tickets for most of the shows can be requested online, though some shows require requests in writing or phone. NYCgo, New York City’s official site for tourists, explains how tickets can be obtained on its website, and gives addresses where requests can be submitted
Shows Have Rules for Attending Tapings
NYCgo also summarizes rules and regulations audience members need to follow. For example, most shows do not allow children under 10 years old, and children from 10 to 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. Some shows require ticket-holders to show government issued ID to gain admission. And some shows allow cameras but prohibit flash photography.
Generally visitors will be notified two to three weeks in advance if their requests for tickets have been granted, both websites note. For the David Letterman show, notification may come as late as the day of taping. When the call comes, be prepared to answer a trivia question about the show to get the tickets. This show also makes tickets available on the day of taping to people who apply at the theatre; don’t plan on waiting all night to be first in line for the tickets, as early birds are disqualified.