If you plan to attend a taping of a TV show with friends, you might want to text them first to see what color clothes they plan to wear. Because if you all wear the same color, you might be separated in the studio audience.
Color coordination is just one of the little behind-the-scenes facts Ellen Hoffman of Kingston found out when she and her fellow mass communications students at Misericordia University attended a taping of the ABC cooking-themed talk show “The Chew” in New York City in January.
The shows will air at 1 p.m. March 26-27 on local ABC affiliate WNEP.
“There were three sections of seats for the audience,” Hoffman, a senior at the university, said. “And they sat us according to what we were wearing. They wanted to separate the colors so that everyone wearing navy wasn’t sitting next to each other. And because there were less men in the audience, they spread the men around through all three sections.”
The school received a list of items the students weren’t allowed to wear, such as bright colors or logos on their clothing. And because the show wouldn’t air until March, they were asked not to wear anything too heavy or winter looking.
This was Hoffman’s first time attending the taping of a TV show, and she was amazed at some of the tactics a show uses to achieve its result. For example, an emcee pumps up the audience to get them psyched before the show. “We were told when to clap and when to act surprised,” she said.
The students got the opportunity to interact with several of the show’s hosts, including Carla Hall and Clinton Kelly. Other hosts are Mario Batali and Michael Symon. Daphne Oz was on maternity leave.
Hoffman had watched the show before and was familiar with some of the hosts from their previous work.
“Carla would come out during commercial breaks and dance with the audience,” she said. “I was excited to see Clinton because I’m a big fan of his from his show ‘What Not to Wear.’ ”
The original plan for the day was for the students to pair into two groups for a morning and an afternoon taping with one group going sightseeing while the other was at the show. A snowstorm, however, changed all those plans when the students were invited to fill the audience for both tapings.
The tapings were split into two shows that air March 26-27. The first show will showcase chicken and the second international cuisine.
“The producer came over to say hi to our group,” Hoffman said. “Everyone was really nice and treated us well.”
The university’s media manager, David Thackara, was selected from the audience to participate on stage in a chicken-clucking contest and won $100 for his best cluck. “That was pretty funny,” Hoffman said. “He had to wear a chicken hat.”
The snowstorm also interfered with their trip home. The group was stuck on the highway in a bus for five hours, returning to the school about midnight.
The mass communications department offers educational excursions to students who work for the newspaper, TV or radio stations. Hoffman is the editor in chief of the student newspaper The Highlander.
Past trips have included the White House, “Good Morning America” and The New York Times.
“The trips are a nice reward for all the hard work we do,” Hoffman said. “You get to see and learn something that you wouldn’t have in the classroom.”