Los Angeles - Best Tv Show Tours?
Will be in LA for the 3rd time this coming March, and still yet to do any tours of the TV Show sets.
Suggestions about which one is the best? (Won't have time for all of them) I am a huge Desperate Housewives fan, and I think you can go to Wisteria Lane?
Any suggestions appreciated
Jan 3, 12, 2:15 pm
Desperate Housewives is made by Marc Cherry Productions, which films its shows on the Universal lot.
Here is information on the Universal tours (standard - a ride on a large tram) or the VIP version (small groups, allowed to walk on sets and sound stages. etc).
Jan 10, 12, 12:00 pm
I understood that Desperate Housewives was filmed at ABC studios, and that ABC did not offer tours to the general public, but if it's filmed at Universal you might want to contact Universal to see what's included in the "tour" portion of the park (if seeing Wisteria Lane is important for you). It's the show's final season, isn't it? Actually in your favor if they're not filming the day you're there, since then may you can see the set. Some tours keep old sets around for tours (e.g., I think part of the "Friends" set is still at Warner Bros.).
You want specifically TV show lots? Universal is, of course, part of a larger amusement park ($70+ entrance). The only strictly TV lot tour I've taken was NBC. I was unimpressed. Didn't see many actual sets. If you want a general studio tour, which could include both movie and TV lots (keeping in mind that filming schedules affect access so you may not see the set you want), I believe Warner Brothers gets the highest marks for being comprehensive and interesting (costs about $45 for the standard tour, I think). I took it years ago. There are also Sony (formerly MGM) Studios in Culver City and Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Based on what I've heard, I'd say Universal has the smallest studio tour, but it has rides, etc. that the others don't.
If you want to see a TV show taped, that's a different ballgame. You have to look at the Web sites for the studios and see what's filming when, and then submit a request. While my wife was attending a conference at a Universal City hotel, I saw the Tonight Show with Jay Leno taped. I got a confirmation through a Web site (which I can't recall), though still had to arrive early and stay in line. I believe you can also just show up, if you get there early enough, and hope you get in. I'm not a huge Leno fan, but an advantage of seeing that show taped is that it's done pretty much straight through, as though it's being seen ive. With sitcoms, etc., I believe you may sit for hours through multiple takes, breaks, etc.
Universal Studios for Desperate Housewives, but it will be only about 2mins at the set, in a tour bus, unless you take the VIP Tour, but in all my visits I've never seen the VIP tour bus there.
Spring for a Front of the Line Pass at Universal, well worth the extra money.
http://tvtickets.com/ will show you what is taping and how to get tickets.
Over Xmas I went on the TMZ Tour around Hollywood, as it was new. I was actually impressed considering I've been to LA for some 40+ times over the years. 2 Hours, interactive with the host and the people in cars/walking past screaming out stuff at the bus, it felt at times you were the Star, rather than the reverse ;)
There are other studio tours, but they are more or less like the VIP tours, small groups, book well in advance and it takes a day, like the Universal Studio VIP Tour.
I would just do Universal Studio's with a backlot Tram Tour, then maybe something like TMZ or one of the other Tours from Starline. Other wise you spend a full day on a Tour that you might not like and are stuck with it for the day.
Jan 15, 12, 8:30 am
If you search on YouTube, there are videos from people who are actually on the VIP and the Tram Tours. There are also some videos from some of the cast members of the "Housewives" show that were filmed at the set (the actual indoor scenes are filmed on an adjacent sound stage, not on the back lot itself).