Seeing Stars: Free Tickets to Studio Tapings


100 Universal City Plaza, Building 4250-Mezz,
Universal City, CA 91608 / (818) 753-3470


"Audiences Unlimited" is an agency that distributes free tickets to the tapings of television shows. You can become part of the show's live studio audience, watch your favorite TV sitcoms being produced, and see your favorite stars live and in person on the set.

It's important to realize that Audiences Unlimited is not a studio; it is only a clearing house which distributes tickets for many different Hollywood studios via the mail and/or over the Internet. So, one show on their list might be taped at the nearby Sunset-Gower Studios in Hollywood, while another show could be shot at the Warner Brothers Studio in the Valley. Other studios where shows are taped include Universal, NBC, Walt Disney, CBS, Sony Entertainment (formerly M-G-M), Ren-Mar Studios, KTLA Studios and Culver Studios.

What "Audiences Unlimited" can do for you:

"Audiences Unlimited" can get you more tickets to a greater variety of TV show tapings than any other single source - over different 60 shows. It can get you tickets to almost every situation comedy made, plus a number of talk shows and game shows. If you're looking for tickets to any particular TV show, this is usually the best place to call first.

"Audiences Unlimited" offers tickets to tapings of a wide variety of shows, including those broadcast on all four of the major television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, & Fox). So instead of running around to a half dozen studios, you can simply pick up all your tickets from a single, convenient source.

And these tickets are absolutely free.

It is essential to phone first (or visit their website) to see which shows are available at any given time. Most regular sitcoms (situation comedies) are on hiatus (not filming) during the months of April through July, and during the Christmas holiday. During this hiatus period, only a handful of minor shows (and lots of pilots) are taped.

Two and a Half MenSitcom production for the Fall season usually begins again in late-July or early August and lasts through the fall and winter. But not all TV shows tape at the same time of year, so it's always necessary to phone first and see what kind of tickets are available.

For your convenience, "Audiences Unlimited" offers a phone number to call, (818) 753-3470, which will play you a recorded list of exactly which shows are being taped, and when. This hotline is available 24-hours a day.

They also have a small box office/booth at the Universal Studios Hollywood tour, where they distribute tickets, but the selection of available tickets there is very limited, and usually only for shows filming that day.

But be aware that in Hollywood, TV shows can come and go overnight, and what's here today may not be here tomorrow.

At last check, tickets are available to over network 40 shows, such as: "The Big Bang Theory", "Two and a Half Men", "Hot In Cleveland", "Rules of Engagement", "Last Man Standing", "Jessie", "2 Broke Girls",  "Shake It Up", "Melissa & Joey", "Mike & Molly", "Better With You", "Wizards Of Waverly Place", "Sonny With A Chance", "Let's Make A Deal", "America’s Funniest Videos" and "Dr. Phil".

That means you have the opportunity to see major stars in person such as Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer, Betty White, David Spade, Valerie Bertinelli, Kaley Cuoco, Tim Allen, Jim Parsons, and Patrick Warburton.

But new TV shows are added to the list virtually every month, while other shows are canceled or put on hiatus. So it's vital to phone first to see what shows are and are not available for any particular week.

The most popular starting times for tapings are from 4 PM to 7:30 PM (7 PM seems to be the favorite hour), but be warned that some tapings start as early as 1:30 PM, or as late as 9:30 PM. Again, phone to be sure.

Tickets are distributed on a first-come-first-served basis. Naturally, tickets to the most popular shows disappear very quickly, so get there early for the best chance of getting the tickets to the shows you want to see. Your best bet is to use their Internet website, at http://www.audiencesunlimited.com, which allows you do it all online, from seeing a list of available shows, to ordering tickets. You can even print out your tickets while you're online. (Most new tickets tend to surface on Wednesday morning.)

You can also write them for a free, detailed monthly show schedule (listing all shows taped and the times of the tapings); just send a self-addressed envelope to their address in Universal City.

The minimum age for most sitcoms is 16, but a few shows have different age limits, ranging from 10 to 20 (Most of the Disney shows have an age limit of 12.).  ID is often required as proof of age.

Arrive for the actual tapings an hour or two early, and be prepared to wait in a long line. The studios are small, and only seat a few hundred audience members, so you don't want to get shut out. Most sitcoms begin their taping season in the hot summer months (July & August), and the line is often outdoors, so if you go in the summer time, dress lightly. But bring a jacket or sweater, since it's often cold inside the sound stage. Also, be prepared for the taping of a 30-minute sitcom to last for an average of two to three hours...


What Audiences Unlimited can't do for you:

  • "Audiences Unlimited" can't provide tickets to all shows at all studios. For instance, tickets for most of the sitcoms which are taped at Paramount Studios can only be picked up at the ticket window at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. And tickets to a few NBC shows are only distributed at the ticket window of NBC Studios in Burbank (see separate pages in this chapter about getting tickets for shows taped at NBC and Paramount).
  • "Audiences Unlimited" can't provide tickets for some game shows. "Jeopardy," for instance, requires you to write to the studio for tickets.
  • "Audiences Unlimited" also can't provide tickets to the late-night talk shows. Tickets for "The Tonight Show" can only be picked up at NBC Studios., or via tvtix.com.

  • Some shows are taped in New York, not here in L.A. "Audiences Unlimited" can get you tickets for shows taped in New York, but if you're a visitor to Hollywood, obviously those tickets won't do you much good here.
  • Also, bear in mind that not all TV shows are taped before a live studio audience. Most sitcoms use a live audience, but almost all dramas, westerns, soap operas and adventure series (those shows that don't call for laughs or applause from a live audience) are filmed on location or on studio back lots, and the public is not invited. So don't expect to get into the taping of "Dexter" or "CSI: Miami."

(But there are ways to see some of these drama series being made, though, if you know a few tricks... read the separate page about location shooting.)

Address:  For tickets to show tapings, or to get a detailed monthly show schedule, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

    AUDIENCES UNLIMITED, INC.
    100 Universal City Plaza, Building 4250- Mezz,
    Universal City, CA 91608

(Send a separate S.A.S.E. for each show. Allow at least two weeks.)

Expect at least a six to eight month wait for tickets to other popular shows. Tickets to TV tapings are free.

Hours: Most regular sitcoms are on hiatus (not filming) during the months of April through early July (when they film new pilots only) and during the Christmas holiday. Sitcom production usually begins again in mid-July or early August and lasts through the fall and winter. Write (or go to their website) for a schedule of taping days and times.

(You can access the official Audiences Unlimited website at http://www.audiencesunlimited.com)



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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