The Game Show Forum

The Game Show Forum => The Big Board => Topic started by: TimK2003 on May 31, 2019, 06:22:42 PM

Title: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: TimK2003 on May 31, 2019, 06:22:42 PM
Just getting some opinions out there about game shows and the "studio audiences" that see them.

There seems to be 3 types of studio audiences for game shows:

1) Average Joe audiences:  Prevalent in the days when shows would invite people to write in for or come down to the Big 3 networks for tickets.  The vast majority of people  in the audience are there for the experience.

2) Canned/Sweetened Audiences: Shows that had little or no studio audiences and relied on canned applause and reaction

3) Rent-an-Audience:  Usually the cable shows or shows shot with little to no promotion for tickets.  Instead, they pay 'regulars' who are paid to "act" like a real studio audience.

Can you tell the Average Joe audiences from the Rent An Audience shows?

Did/do audience "sweeteners" do a better job of audience reactions than paid audiences?

Is it necessary to show an audience on shows where it's not a requirement, or to prove there *is* an audience?

The reason why I asked is I have pretty much attended show tapings in all 3 environments:

  Barker TPIR and WOF @ The Ohio State Fair -- Genuine Average Joe Audiences -- Pure hootin' & hollerin'.
  Super Password and Davidson Squares -- Mostly Average Joe Audience -- noticeable Mother MacKenzie "sweetening" when aired.
  Win Ben Stein's Money and It Takes Two -- Mostly a paid audience with a few random people (like me) who were offered free tickets on the streets of Hollywood.

Seeing Stein was great (I saw a Halloween-Themed, post-Kimmel episode), but with all the professional "seat-fillers", the atmosphere felt way different, and not as exciting when in between taping segments.

Any other experiences/opinions?

Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: DoItRockapella on June 01, 2019, 09:46:28 PM
I'll give my take here...


Can you tell the Average Joe audiences from the Rent An Audience shows?

Did/do audience "sweeteners" do a better job of audience reactions than paid audiences?

Is it necessary to show an audience on shows where it's not a requirement, or to prove there *is* an audience?


I frequently can tell the difference, and the audience sweeteners seem to me to do a much better job. As Tim said, the shows that are paying audience members are usually cable shows; in many cases, the "audience" seems to me to be taking up much more space then the actual set, and doesn't seem to me to be enjoying themselves at all.

So no, I do not think it is necessary to show an audience on shows where it's not a requirement. For some time now, my position has been that if you are going to pay a bunch of people to stare blankly at your itty-bitty set, you would be better off spending that money on some really good music (as opposed to the barely noticeable collection of beeps that passes for theme music on a lot of cable shows).

I myself have been in the audience for some thirteen television or radio shows that I would consider to be game shows, ranging from TPIR and WOF to a lot of public radio shows to being a volunteer seat-filler at my local high school quiz bowl show. I've never been paid for it; indeed, with the public radio shows, I paid for the tickets. Most seemed to me to be Genuine Average Joe Audiences, and not just in LA; until you go to a taping, you have no idea how loud the audience for Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is.
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: trainman on June 02, 2019, 01:41:09 AM
The studio audiences for the new PYL and CS are almost entirely paid audience members.
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: tyshaun1 on June 02, 2019, 08:08:33 AM
The studio audiences for the new PYL and CS are almost entirely paid audience members.

Did they pay you as well?
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: jjman920 on June 02, 2019, 04:44:21 PM
Key word is "almost," I'm guessing. The ticket sites still offered tickets to the shows, but for the days they're taping, they probably aren't getting that many regular people. I went to Beat Shazam and that was majority seat fillers. Went to Funny You Should Ask as a guest and I think that was entirely seat fillers.
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: TimK2003 on June 02, 2019, 05:49:04 PM
I have read that a vast majority of the seat fillers are aspiring actors who usually have non-speaking, background bit parts in shows.  It may get them connections to key people in the biz, but they really make for bad audience members -- most of their actions are soooooo rehearsed and fake. 

That's what I got out of the WBSM taping, almost to the point that I felt that some of my natural reactions during the taping were frowned upon by the status quo.
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: trainman on June 02, 2019, 10:24:13 PM
The studio audiences for the new PYL and CS are almost entirely paid audience members.

Did they pay you as well?

My only payment was the joy of being in the studio audience for those shows. Also, they passed out candy at PYL.
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: whewfan on June 03, 2019, 06:08:02 AM
Paid audiences are a fairly common practice, especially if the audience is seen. Mrs. Miller was a notable paid audience member that sat in on numerous shows, including Jack Paar, Match Game, and The Carol Burnett Show.
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: BillCullen1 on June 03, 2019, 08:36:50 AM
Mrs. Miller made a name for herself as an audience member. I never knew or heard that she was paid.
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: Jimmy Owen on June 03, 2019, 09:12:28 AM
When Merv would have a conversation on camera with her, I wonder if a fee kicked in?
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: BillCullen1 on June 03, 2019, 09:55:34 AM
When Merv would have a conversation on camera with her, I wonder if a fee kicked in?

Oh yeah, I didn't think about that. Valid point. But wouldn't she have to be AFTRA union member?
Title: Re: Game Show Studio Audiences...
Post by: tyshaun1 on June 03, 2019, 02:49:09 PM

My only payment was the joy of being in the studio audience for those shows. Also, they passed out candy at PYL.

They did exactly that at the taping I went to in 1986, and I've heard they gave the contestants candy too. Somebody did their homework.