The Today Show, formerly known as Today, is one of America's most popular talk shows. It airs on NBC on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET, and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m ET. The program started in 1952 and was the first talk show of its kind. In this way, it set the stage for modern American television.
With the Today Show's popularity, many fans line up early in the morning to be part of the on-air audience.
When to Arrive
The key to being seen on the Today Show is arriving early to stake out a good spot. If you think you can show up at 7 a.m. and be in the front row, then you're mistaken. The security guards say there are already people lined up when they arrive at 6 a.m. So set your alarm extra early to get to the corner of 49th and Rockefeller Center before dawn.
How to Get to the Today Show
Studio 1A, where the Today Show is filmed, can be found on 48th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. Although you can take a cab or ride-share to the Today plaza, you may hit rush-hour traffic, especially around the busy Rockefeller Center area. With this in mind, the subway is probably your best bet. The B/D/F/M stops at 47-50 St.-Rockefeller Center, or there's the N/Q/R/W at 49 St., just a block away.
When you arrive, you will first need to pass through security and register. To check-in more quickly and efficiently, it's recommended that you RSVP online.
How to Stand out from the Crowd
Where you should stand depends on what you're most hoping to get out of the experience. Head to the front of the barricade if you just want to get on TV. If you're hoping to get a selfie with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, move towards 49th Street. For those who want to watch the action in Studio 1A, make sure to stay to the southeast corner, so you'll stand behind where the anchors sit.
It's also important to bring the goofiest sign you can think of as you'll be more likely to get attention. And of course, wear a camera-friendly smile and just enjoy yourself. You want all your friends to see how much fun you're having in New York City!
What to Do Nearby
There are plenty of things to do for tourists in Midtown. After the show, stick around Rockefeller Plaza for a behind-the-scenes tour of NBC Studios. Round out your experience with a trip to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck for quintessential NYC skyline views.
When you're ready to leave Rockefeller Center, the historic and architecturally impressive St. Patrick's Cathedral is just around the corner. And if you love art, you'll be delighted to know that the Museum of Modern Art is only a few blocks away, on 53rd Street.
If you've never been to the Today Show before, there are some insider tips you may want to consider.
- Wear comfortable shoes; standing around for hours can get tiresome.
- Come with your friends. There's nothing better than having fun people with you while you wait.
- Dress for the weather. You don't want to get up that early and have to leave because you're too cold. In the winter, pack hand warmers and waterproof boots for standing in the snow. If rain is in the forecast, be sure to bring an umbrella.
- There is a designated section for those with disabilities. If you need to be accommodated, ask the Plaza Page at the front of the line for assistance.
- TODAY advises that fans visiting on Mondays and Fridays should arrive even earlier than 6 a.m., as these are the most popular days to attend. If getting there at 5:30 a.m. (or even earlier) sounds unlikely, plan to attend the show another day of the week.