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With The Big Bang Theory having ended recently, I wondered about other enduring TV shows that have featured a live audience. It occurred to me that the final recording of Friends, the filming of The Final One, must've been in incredibly high demand for the fans who'd seen the show run from the nineties through to the noughties.

How much was the ticket price to go and see that final episode (I presume people paid to see the recordings rather than all audience members winning them or something)?

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From https://www.tripsavvy.com/tv-show-tickets-in-los-angeles-1587005

All TV show tickets are free. Having a ticket in hand does not always guarantee a seat at the show, with some exceptions...

This is usually the case, even with series finales. However, keep in mind that for these episodes - the studio/producers usually retain some privilege for inviting special guests.

This includes the full gamut from game shows, reality/competition shows, daytime talk, late night talk, and scripted shows.

Keep in mind however, that there can quite often be a substantial waiting list for access to a particular show.

Obviously, the producers do not want any camera shots of the audience chairs being empty - so in the case of Saturday Night Live (NBC, US) (which is highly popular) - there is a lottery. This is used in conjunction with a standby system, which covers the case when a ticket lottery winner does not show up to the show. See https://freetoursbyfoot.com/saturday-night-live-tickets/

There are even cases when a studio audience cannot be filled. In this case, a service like Seatfillers may be used, or the producers may leave rows of seats that are located in less desirable parts of the studio empty (you will sometimes see this on CBS's The Price is Right, as seats behind the announcer are sometimes left empty).

  • Wow, I never realised this sort of thing was free! I imagine you have to show up pretty early for a seat in particularly popular shows... Do you know if this has always been the case? – Nemon27 May 23 at 20:42
  • Indeed. I recently (well, 2016) saw an episode of Red Dwarf being filmed. It was free, though I got a standby ticket (there had been a lottery to get a proper ticket, which I lost - a standby is there for empty seats if people can't make it). There were also apparently some cast and crew from Star Wars episode 7 in the audience, as that was filming next door. – user25730 May 23 at 23:45
  • @Nemon27 In my case, as I was on standby it was "first come, first served". I turned up about 2 hours before the doors opened and was first there. Other people on standby who turned up later didn't get in sadly (as less people failed to turn up as expected, and spare seats were given to guests of the cast and crew), though the company managing the live audience in our case was pretty good and on nearly all occasions, everyone with standby tickets got in. Everyone who got a ticket in the lottery got in, regardless of what time they arrived. – user25730 May 24 at 0:16

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