This post has everything you need to know about getting free tickets to TV show tapings and live broadcasts of popular shows in NYC.
We will show who, where and how to apply for tickets, what to expect on the day of the show as well as information on TV studio tours.
Let's dig in!
There is a wide array of shows you can choose from including daytime talk shows, late-night talk shows, comedy shows, news shows and more.
Live TV show tapings are an easy way to see your favorite celebrities.
Because it is totally free to attend a live taping, there is some competition to get tickets. Each show taped in NYC has its own ticket request method.
Some require that you request tickets months in advance, and some have same-day seats available.
This post provides specific information for each of the shows we discuss.
Also, depending on the show’s studio check-in procedures, some tapings will take up more of your day than others.
Generally, you will spend two hours checking in, going through security, and being seated. Add on the hours of the show taping and plan your schedule accordingly.
The below shows air in the evenings, generally after 11 pm.
However, the tapings occur earlier in the night. The exception is Saturday Night Live which broadcasts live.
Click on the show you are interested in for all the details of getting tickets.
- Saturday Night Live
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Late Show with Stephen Colbert
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
- Late Night with Seth Meyers
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
- The Problem With Jon Stewart
This iconic comedy show broadcasts live on...you guessed it, Saturday nights! Below we provide a summary of getting tickets.
For an in-depth explanation of getting tickets and some fun history of SNL, see our post on how to get Saturday Night Live Tickets (or Standby Tickets).
NOTE: The ticket lottery for SNL's 2021-2022 season has officially closed. The next ticket lottery for the 2022-2023 season will begin on August 1, 2022, and run throughout the entire month.
Include your name and all of your contact information in the email.
Only one entry is allowed per household, so you and your family members can’t all send separate entries.
- You will receive two tickets for a specific date. They are given randomly; you cannot pick your dates when you enter.
- You will receive a ticket to either the live taping (11:30 pm) or the dress rehearsal (8 pm)
- You must be at least 16 years of age to attend the show.
- You will only be notified if you are selected to receive tickets
If you aren’t selected (but want to try anyway):
Try to get standby tickets. The line is on the 49th St side of 30 Rockefeller Center and tickets are distributed at 7 am on the day of the show.
Be warned: you are in for a long wait. People often camp out overnight to get standby tickets. You are required to stay in line the whole time (except for short, necessary breaks.)
Tickets are first-come, first served and do not guarantee entry into the show. You can elect to get standby for either the dress rehearsal or the live taping.
Be sure to see our post on how to get Saturday Night Live Tickets (or Standby Tickets).
This show tapes Monday through Friday at 5 pm. The show airs on weeknights at 11:34 pm EST on NBC.
How To Get Tickets:
For complete information, see our detailed post on how to get tickets to the Tonight Show. Below is a summary:
Tickets are released about a month in advance, so it is possible to plan ahead for this one in conjunction with your trip.
The first step is to sign up with 1iota, the website that handles many TV taping ticket requests. This applies to any shows that use 1iota to process requests.
After you sign up with 1iota, they will direct you to The Tonight Show's website to see what dates are available.
The video explains how to request tickets once you have created a 1iota account.
If you get tickets:
- The person who reserved the tickets must be present. They will check IDs to match names.
- No groups larger than four people may book.
- No bags larger than small purses will be allowed in.
- No cameras, phones or electronics of any kind will be allowed into the taping.
- No one under the age of 16 may attend the taping.
- Those attending are asked to keep to a “smart casual” dress code.
If you don’t get a ticket:
Standby tickets are given out at 9 am for that day’s show at the 49th St entrance to 30 Rockefeller Center. Standby tickets do not guarantee entry into the show.
If you don’t make it by 9 am, you can inquire about standby tickets at the NBC Experience Store.
If you don't get tickets, why not take our self-guided tour of Midtown Manhattan since you are already in the area?
Though the show airs at 11:35 pm Eastern and Pacific times on CBS, the taping begins at 5:30 pm to 7 pm at the famed Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway between 53rd and 54th Streets.
Be sure to read our post on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert for detailed information on the show and tickets.
How To Get Tickets:
Tickets become available 2 months in advance. Maximum 2 tickets per person.
Tickets can be reserved on through 1iota, a company that handles ticket requests for many of the shows in this post.
Submitting a request puts you on a waitlist to have your request processed. Ticket requests are processed between two weeks and up to 24 hours before the show date.
The video below explains the waitlist process.
If your ticket request is approved, you’ll get an email asking you to confirm your attendance. Find out more about the process from 1iota's FAQ section.
Also, take a look at our in-depth post on how to get tickets for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The Daily Show tapes Monday through Thursday at 733 Eleventh Ave between 51st and 52nd Streets.
The show airs on weeknights at 11:00 pm on Comedy Central.
Noah announced he will be departing the show and his last episode will be December 8, 2022.
The show will return from its regularly scheduled holiday break on January 17, 2023, with a new, but still unknown, host.
How To Get Tickets:
Read our full guide to getting tickets to the taping of the Daily Show. Below is a summary:
If you get tickets:
- You must arrive no later than 4:30 pm. If you arrive before the rest of your party, you can only pick up your ticket. The others must pick theirs up by 4 pm, or they may be given away.
- The taping usually lasts until 7 or 7:30 pm
- You must be 18 or older
- You may not bring recording devices of any kind
- The show is sometimes overbooked, so having a reservation does not guarantee entry into the taping!
If you don't get tickets:
The Daily Show offers standby tickets. They do not guarantee entry into the taping. Standby tickets are handed out at 2:30 pm on the day of the show.
Because of the show’s extreme popularity, it is recommended that you get in line well before 2:30 pm if you want a better chance of getting in.
If you don't get tickets, then be sure to explore the area on our self-guided tour of Midtown Manhattan.
Late Night is taped at the NBC Studios Monday through Thursday at 5:00 pm, with check-in from 2:45 pm. The show airs on NBC in the 12:35 am time slot.
Below is a summary so be sure to read our detailed post.
How To Get Tickets:
You can book tickets in advance. Typically they are released 4-6 weeks in advance.
You can reserve tickets by calling 212-664-3056. The ticket office is open 9-5, Monday through Friday EST.
If you get tickets:
- You may get up to 4 tickets at one time.
- The reservation holder must attend. The tickets will only be released to the person who reserved them.
- You may only reserve tickets once every 4 months.
- You must be at least 16 years old to attend Late Night.
- Any cancellations must be at least 24 hours in advance.
- You will not be allowed to bring any large bags, phones, cameras or other electronics into the studio.
Monologue Rehearsal Tickets:
Tickets to see Seth Meyers rehearse his monologue will be released at 1 pm every day. They are available at the NBC Experience Store.
Help the show decide what monologue jokes make it into the taping!
Standby Tickets are released on the day of the show at 9 am at the 49th St entrance to 30 Rockefeller Center.
If you can’t make it at 9 am, you can ask about tickets at the NBC Experience Store.
Standby tickets do not guarantee entry into the show.
Be sure to read our detailed post on getting tickets to the show.
The show tapes on Sundays at 6:15 pm. It airs on Sundays at 11 pm on HBO.
It is taped west of Midtown at the CBS Broadcast Center at 530 West 57th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. Use this link to get the exact directions.
How To Get Tickets:
You request your tickets at their website Last Week Tonight.
There you can request tickets for tapings approximately 33 days in advance, and not before.
So for example, tickets for September 29 become available on August 27 at 2 pm. Tickets for October 6 become available on September 3 at 2 pm, etc.
Note: Because there is such a high demand for tickets, they ask – practically beg – that if you attended a taping in the previous FOUR seasons, please don’t apply again.
Do NOT enter multiple times in the same lottery or you will be eliminated from that lottery.
- There is a four-ticket limit per request.
- You must be at least 18 to attend.
- You must arrive 40 minutes before taping.
- You'll need a photo ID with the name matching the reservation to claim your tickets.
- Large packages, shopping bags, suitcases, and backpacks are not allowed in the studio.
- Suggested dress code is “smart/casual”.
- Taping studios often run cold, so bring a jacket or sweater to wear inside.
There is no official standby line. Standby tickets are extremely limited.
If you want to give it a shot, go up to the entrance of the studio but do NOT line up before 5:30 pm, as per the show's adamant instructions!
TIP: Follow the show on Twitter for updates on last-minute ticket availability.
The show tapes on Wednesdays at 5:45 pm (airs every Monday at 10:30 pm on TBS) at the CBS Broadcast Center at 528 West 57th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.
Because the studios are a bit out far west of Midtown, use this link to get exact directions.
How To Get Tickets:
First, before requesting tickets, make sure everyone in your group is 18 years or older.
If not, don’t bother filing a request form as there is an age requirement.
If that isn’t an issue, go to this website, The Blacklist NYC - Full Frontal Show, to request tickets.
On the website, you will be able to see show dates for the upcoming four Wednesdays. You will be asked to select a date and an alternate date.
Since they offer tickets for shows as soon as that upcoming Wednesday, they require that you live in the New York City area or will be in NYC during the filming week to be eligible for tickets.
While you can request your tickets when you are NOT in NYC, you should plan to be in NYC for the dates you select.
This means in effect that it isn’t a show you want to try to see if you are only in town for a few days.
After you submit your request, you will immediately get an acknowledgment email. After that point, you will not hear anything back from them unless you are granted tickets.
If you are selected for tickets, within 5-7 business days of your request, you will get an email with detailed information about attending the show.
If you are selected for tickets:
- Must be 18 or older to attend the show
- Arrive by 5 pm
NOTE: As of November 7, 2022, Full Frontal has not begun live tapings yet. Check the website often to see when live in-studio shows will begin again.
The Problem With Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart's new show airs on AppleTV+ every two weeks. No calendar dates are listed on the show's tickets website, so currently it is not possible to see the show being taped.
Many talk shows and news shows air during the day. Some broadcast live and others are taped in advance.
Click on the link to the show you are interested in for all the details on getting tickets.
- Good Morning America
- The Today Show
- Rachael Ray Show
- The View
- Live! with Kelly and Ryan
- Wendy Williams Show
- Fox and Friends
Note that there are no daytime game shows filmed in NYC. You can see game show tapings in Los Angeles though!
GMA airs live Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 10:30 am. The "studio" is actually in an enclosed area outside, in front of the show's actual studio!
The studio is in Times Square on the corner of West 44th Street and Broadway. Since you will be done by 10:30 am, why not explore Times Square?
To be part of the live studio audience, you have to be willing to get up pretty early as you must check in no later than 7:15 am
Tickets are free and you can request them up to 25 days in advance. Check their website for details.
Be sure to check out the GMA Summer Concert Series!
Free concerts by top musicians for those who can get up really early in the morning are certainly a highlight of the summer!
The Today Show does not have a studio audience, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a part of it!
The Today Show invites anyone and everyone to join them outside of their studios in Rockefeller Center.
This is a good option for those traveling with kids since most live tapings have some kind of age limit.
On weekdays the show is filmed outside from 7 am until 9 am
At that point, the show and anchors move inside but you can stay and watch from the window and possibly be seen on camera!
How to attend:
Though not required, the show recommends that you RSVP so your check-in process will go more smoothly. RSVP here.
On the day you want to go, gather outside Studio 1A on 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.
You can enter the plaza at 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues where you will have to pass through a security check.
Note that Mondays and Fridays are the busiest days. On Sunday the show starts at 8 am so try to arrive 45 minutes earlier.
Tips for maximum fun:
- Bring a poster and fun signs - the wackier the better. The Today Show likes people to have fun! Mondays and Fridays are the busiest days.
- For a better chance to meet the hosts and be seen on TV, get on the line to get a spot behind the barricades that surround the plaza by 6:30 am.
- Find a great spot (and tell your friends watching at home where they can see you)
Today Show Concert Series
Every summer, the Today Show holds free, short concerts outside their studios. The lineups feature some of the top performers of the day.
Get there by 6 am for the best spots. Find out more here.
The Rachael Ray Show is free to attend and tapes at Chelsea Television Studios, 221 West 26th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.
The show tapes 3 a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The times are:
- 11:00 am (arrive by 10:00 am)
- 2:30 pm (arrive by 1:30 pm)
- 4:15 pm (arrive by 3:15 pm)
How to Get Tickets:
- Submit a form to their website. Do NOT submit more than one form or else your request will be made void.
- Guests will NOT receive a confirmation email upon submission. Instead, they will contact guests with available taping dates if granted tickets.
- Guests will receive their tickets via email 2 weeks before the show.
- Groups are allowed but must fill out a different form.
If You Get Tickets:
- All guests who are 16 years of age and older must bring a valid photo ID
- Guests under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult
- Guests are encouraged to dress business casual. For a full list of their dress code policy, click here.
- Food, drink, weapons, large bags, cameras, or gum is NOT allowed in the studio.
To get a standby voucher, arrive at the studio at 10:00 am for the 11:00 am taping, at 12:00 pm for the 1:30 pm taping, and 3:15 pm for the 4:15 pm taping.
A standby voucher does not guarantee a ticket to the show.
The View airs live in front of a studio audience from Monday- Friday 11:00 am -12:00 pm.
Guests can reserve tickets to attend a free taping on their website.
How To Get Tickets:
Read our full post on getting tickets to The View for more information on the show and tickets. Below are some things to know:
If You Get Tickets:
- Guests must be at least 16 years of age.
- Guests are required to adhere to a rather strict dress code. No tank tops, large logos, t-shirts, or solid white or black tops are allowed. Guests are encouraged to dress "upscale casual," and look trendy or fashionable. For a full list of their dress code policy, click here.
- Photography is permitted but only during designated times of the taping.
- No food or drink is allowed, and guests are required to go through a security check.
It is not that complicated to get tickets to see Kelly Ripa and her co-host Ryan Seacrest, and they are lots of fun to see.
Read our full post LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan tickets for all the details and tips on getting tickets.
Here's a summary:
- The show tapes Monday through Friday starting at 9:00 am. Taping generally lasts 60-90 minutes.
- Ticket availability is posted a month at a time, usually about 2 months in advance of that time frame.
- The show tapes at the ABC Studios on Columbus Avenue and 67th Street, just a block west of Central Park.
NOTE: As of April 7, 2022, tickets for live audience tapings are not being offered. Check back with us often for updates.
This popular talk show broadcasts live on Mondays through Thursdays at 10:00 am at Chelsea Television Studios, 221 West 26th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.
The show broadcasts live starting at 10:00 am. You must arrive at 8 am sharp.
The show sometimes tapes segments. The tapings occur at 1:45 pm. You must arrive by 12:15 pm.
How To Get Tickets:
You request tickets through the show’s website. On the website, you will see around 15 upcoming show dates with ticket availability status.
In order to request tickets, you must be 18 years of age to submit a request for tickets, as well as attend a show if you receive tickets.
NOTE: The show does not broadcast in August.
Sometimes the show has unfilled spaces in the audience so they may have standby tickets. However, your admittance is not guaranteed.
If you want to try for standby tickets be sure to arrive by 8:30 am for the 10:00 am live broadcast or by 12:45 pm for the afternoon taping.
The dress code for this TV show is detailed on their website which says “Think trendy…think stylish…think chic!”
Bright solids are preferred. Avoid wearing white or floral prints and patterns.
You may not wear shirts with logos or writing, casual tank tops or shorts.
In addition to requiring all guests to be vaccinated, tickets are also much more limited for the time being. We do not know when these restrictions will change.
TIP: The Chelsea Studio is just a few blocks away from the High Line, a park on an old elevated railway track.
The High Line is one of the most popular tourist destinations in NYC and definitely worth a visit. It’s a great free activity.
Fox and Friends, a political talk show, started in early 2019 to include a live studio audience once a month.
The show airs live from 6 am - 9 am from Fox Studio’s famed “Studio F” at 1211 Avenue of the Americas at the corner of 47th St.
The show's audience is kept very small with about 50 people. This means that chances to be selected to be in the audience are pretty slim.
How to Get Tickets:
Audience members are selected by submitting a form online at Fox and Friends. You must be at least 18 years old and live in the United States.
You are asked to provide your name, address, email, phone number, date of birth, and, if you choose, links to your social media accounts.
As they just started including a studio audience in early 2019, it is unknown what they seek in audience members other than that you must be “passionate about politics”.
If the show considers you a potential audience member, you will get a follow-up phone call.
Although many shows are taped in New York City, there is only one studio tour you can take, the NBC Studio Tour. Fortunately, the NBC Studio Tour is a fantastic experience.
As of April 2022, NBC Studio Tours have not resumed offering tours.
To find out more about this tour, including prices, schedules, and reviews, read our in-depth post on the NBC Studio Tour.
Currently, there are no ABC Studio tours, Fox Studio tours or CBS Studio tours.
Inside the Actors Studio
This show is hosted by Frazier star Kelsey Grammer, who conducts one-on-one interviews with well-known actors and actresses from film and TV.
Specific taping dates are not listed on their website as dates are not consistent. To find out about upcoming tapings, join the Inside the Actors Studio mailing list.
The audience is filled with faculty and students of Pace University where the show is hosted.
There is some room for members of the general public, but the audience is quite small.
To try to get into the audience, join the standby line one hour prior to the taping time. The line forms at the Schimmel Center at 3 Spruce Street.
Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, based on availability.
There is no guarantee you will get a seat, so have a backup plan on what to do with that time instead.
Luckily, you will be in Lower Manhattan which has tons of things to do. See our post on things to do in Lower Manhattan.
Movies Filmed In New York City
A complete list of movies that were filmed in NYC is too long to include in this post, but here are a few that we have written about and even created self-guided tours of some of the filming locations.
With so many holiday movies filmed here, you may want to take an NYC Christmas Movie Tour.
Also, you may like a Central Park Movie and TV Tour.