NBC Studios. Courtesy, NBC Universal Media LLC
It’s fun—and free—to attend live tapings of popular TV shows shot in New York City. You get to see huge stars up close, and if you’re lucky, your friends at home might even see you on their own screens.
The wait for advance TV show tickets is often long, so it’s best to write in for them or reserve online far before your desired date. Still, many shows have standby options if you’re willing to wait in line. See below for info, addresses, schedules and other important info for the following NYC-based TV shows.
Note: The writers’ strike halted production of most new shows. Though it has been resolved as of late September 2023, check with each show for its return date. As well, check each show’s website ahead of time for Covid-19 policy, including any masking and vaccination requirements, and remember to bring a valid ID to any show you plan to attend.
The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm on Comedy Central. It parodies politics, pop culture, entertainment and news. Since longtime host Trevor Noah left (in late 2022; the show returned in mid-January 2023), the show has been led by a revolving cast of guest hosts (usually comedians), including Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman and Damon Wayans.
Ticket Info: To sign up for Daily Show tickets, go to showclix.com; reservations for shows a few weeks out are released on a gradual basis, so it pays to keep visiting the website. Standby tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis for guests who line up outside the studio on 52nd St.; tickets are distributed beginning at 5pm.
Show Requirements: You must be 18 or older to attend. Also, as ticket distribution may be in excess of studio capacity, admission is not guaranteed, even with reservations. No cameras or recording devices allowed.
Location: 733 Eleventh Ave. (bet. W. 51st and W. 52nd Sts.)
Schedule: Check-in begins at 4pm and ends at 5pm. Ticketed guests should arrive 30-45 minutes before time listed on ticket to allow extra time for parking and traffic. Tapings are Mondays through Thursdays at 6pm and last until 7:30–8:00pm.
British comedian and firebrand John Oliver already had his fans as a Daily Show correspondent, but he’s really rocketed to fame as the host of the satirical news show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, on which he recaps the previous week’s events with his whip-smart sense of humor.
Ticket Info: Last Week Tonight tickets are available via a lottery at lastweektickets.com on Tuesdays at 3pm.
Show Requirements: You must be at least 18 years old to attend.
Location: The CBS Broadcast Center, 530 W. 57th St. (bet. Tenth and Eleventh Aves.)
Schedule: Last Week Tonight tapes most Saturdays at 4:45pm. Arrive at least 60 minutes prior to the start time.
Seth Meyers, best known as a former "Weekend Update" coanchor on Saturday Night Live, hosts Late Night in NBC’s 12:35am slot. The show airs Monday through Friday.
Ticket Info: For free tickets to future shows, call 212-664-3056 (ticket lines are open Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm Eastern Time) or go online. Late Night with Seth Meyers tickets are generally booked four to six weeks in advance. Separate tickets to see Meyers rehearse his monologue are available on show dates at the Shop at NBC Studios (30 Rockefeller Plaza, via the Sixth Ave. entrance), at 11:30am.
Show Requirements: Late Night audience members must be 16 or older. Individuals may not attend more than one show taping every four months. No groups larger than four people allowed. See show website for limits on personal items allowed. All shows are overbooked, and reservations do not guarantee admission. Standby tickets (one per person) are handed out at 9am on the mornings of tapings in front of the store; arrive early.
Location: Studio 8G, 30 Rockefeller Plaza (bet. Fifth and Sixth Aves. and W. 49th and W. 50th Sts.)
Schedule: Late Night with Seth Meyers usually tapes Monday through Thursday at 4pm, with check-in from 2 to 2:45pm.
The Late Show is hosted by Stephen Colbert and has a strong current-events bent, but celebrities and musical acts share the stage too. The show airs weeknights on CBS at 11:35pm.
Ticket Info: Late Show with Stephen Colbert tickets are available online. However, it can be hard to score them, so check back frequently and plan well ahead.
Show Requirements: You must be 18 or older to attend (16 or older with a parent or guardian). Use of cell phones, pagers, cameras or recording devices is not allowed; food and drink are prohibited as well.
Location: 1697 Broadway (bet. W. 53rd and W. 54th Sts.)
Schedule: The Late Show generally tapes Monday through Thursday at 5:30pm. For more information, call 212-975-3700.
Live with Kelly and Mark, hosted by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, is a popular syndicated morning talk show. It airs live on weekdays from 9am to 10am.
Ticket Info: To obtain Live with Kelly and Mark tickets in advance, find an open day on kellyandryan.com and click through to fill out the request form. The maximum number of tickets one person can request is four. If the wait for advance tickets is too long, it is still possible to get in on the day of the show. For same-day tickets, arrive at the studio for a standby number as early as 7am. After ticket holders are seated, standbys are seated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Show Requirements: Children between 10 and 17 years old must be accompanied by an adult; those under 10 are not allowed in the studio. Cameras are allowed, but flash photography is prohibited.
Location: The studio is at 7 Lincoln Square, at the southeast corner of Columbus Ave. and West 67th St.
Schedule: Live with Kelly and Mark broadcasts live from 9am to 10am on weekdays. Be sure to check your ticket for arrival time confirmation, but ticket holders should generally plan to arrive at the studio by 7:45am.
Courtesy, Rachel Ray Show
On The Rachael Ray Show, the Emmy Award–winning host and celebrity chef talks with Hollywood personalities, music stars and—of course—cooks. Check local listings for channels and air times.
Ticket Info: To request Rachael Ray Show tickets, visit rachaelrayshow.com. Show up at least an hour before taping times.
Show Requirements: You must be 18 or older to attend (16 or older with a parent or guardian). The show enforces a business-casual dress code.
Location: Chelsea Television Studios, 221 W. 26th St. (bet. Seventh and Eighth Aves.)
Schedule: The show tapes Tuesday through Thursday at 10am, 12pm and 2:30pm (some days there may just be two shows); audience members should arrive at least an hour ahead of time.
NYC institution Saturday Night Live is a live comedy and entertainment show airing at 11:30pm on Saturdays. It features celebrity guest hosts and musical performances. The show is a hot ticket for both visitors and New Yorkers. You’ll find the basics below.
Ticket Info: Saturday Night Live tickets are given out once a year through a lottery; to enter, send an email to email@example.com during the month of August only. In the email, include your first and last name and explain why you’re a fan of the show and want to be part of the studio audience. Do not request a specific date. One email per household is allowed. Winners will each receive a set number of tickets for a specific show date and performance (dress rehearsal or live show). You will be notified only if you are selected. There is a virtual standby reservation option as well. The virtual reservation email is open 10am to 5pm on the Thursday of the show week. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request up to four standby reservations; include your first and last name along with the first and last names of up to three other guests. If you are selected for standby reservation tickets, an email will be sent with further instructions. Additionally, standby cards will be handed out in person on the morning of the show beginning at 7am.
Show Requirements: You must be 16 or older to attend.
Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza (bet. Fifth and Sixth Aves. and W. 49th and W. 50th Sts.)
Schedule: Check your tickets for arrival time for dress rehearsals and live tapings.
Today, also known as The Today Show, is NBC’s morning news and lifestyle program. The show stars Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Craig Melvin, Carson Daly, Jenna Bush Hager, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones. On weekdays, during the first two hours of the show (7–9am), Today’s hosts and guests shoot outside on the plaza near fans. During the show’s second half (9–11am), fans can still watch—and wave to friends and family at home—through the window of Studio 1A. On weekends, the hosts may periodically visit the plaza during the show.
Ticket Info: No tickets are necessary, but visitors are encouraged to pick a date and RSVP in advance. To do so and to find more info, visit today.com.
Location: 35 West 48th St. (bet. Fifth and Sixth Aves.; enter at W. 48th St.)
Schedule: The show broadcasts live Monday through Friday from 7 to 11am and Saturday from 7 to 9am; try to arrive 45 minutes before the show starts to get a good spot on the plaza.
NBC’s longest-running late-night franchise has returned to its ancestral (and rightful) home in New York City, and host Jimmy Fallon has made it a hot ticket and social media darling. The show airs Monday through Friday at 11:30pm.
Ticket Info: To book Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon tickets, visit tonightshowtix.com; you’ll need to sign up for 1iota before applying. The ticket release date is posted on the show’s Twitter page; each month’s block opens up roughly a month in advance. Standby cards are available on the day of taping from 10am to 3pm at the Shop at NBC Studios.
Show Requirements: Tonight Show audience members must be 16 or older. Audience members may not use cell phones, cameras or other electronic devices in the studio.
Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza (using the 50 W. 50th St. entrance)
Schedule: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tapes Monday through Friday at 5pm; check your ticket for check-in time, but it’s generally recommended to arrive about 3:30pm.
On The View, Whoopi Goldberg moderates a daily discussion of current events and interviews celebrity guests; cohosts include Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Sara Haines, along with newcomers Alyssa Farah Griffin and Ana Navarro. The show airs weekdays at 11am.
Ticket Info: Apply for The View tickets online at 1iota.com. To get standby tickets, arrive at the audience entrance after 9:30am and line up for any available seats.
Show Requirements: You must be 16 or older to attend.
Location: 57 W. 66th St. (bet. Columbus Ave. and Central Park West); note that you can write to that address to request tickets.
Schedule: Check your ticket for confirmation, but generally ticket holders should arrive no later than 9:30am. Filming of the show lasts approximately 60 minutes, but extra pre-tapes can take an additional 30–60 minutes.