One of the most popular free things to do in Chicago is to take in an Oprah taping in the West Loop at her Harpo Studios. Audience reservations for The Oprah Winfrey Show are available almost exclusively by phone. As you can imagine, demand for free Oprah tickets far exceeds supply, so you may receive a lot of busy signals before getting through to one of the audience department employees. Periodically, you may be able to request last-minute reservations via e-mail. Check below for availability.
The Oprah Winfrey Show taping schedule: Ms. Winfrey is much too important to be tied down to a production schedule like regular talk-show hosts. Therefore, your guess is a good as anyone as to what days the show tapes. A specific list of days is given to those lucky enough to get through by phone to request tickets for free admission. However, tapings occur only on weekdays and there are generally 2 shows on taping days that last about 4 hours total — you’ll need to arrive by 7:00 a.m. for the morning taping, and 11:00 a.m. for the afternoon taping. Oprah’s season generally airs from August – November and January – May.
Getting Oprah tickets by phone: For the most part, you must request Oprah tickets by phone. The reservation line is available for only one day to call to request tickets for a taping in the following month. As you can imagine, you’ll get as many busy signals as trying to win a radio contest, so block out some time and exercise your dialing finger. The phone number is 312-591-9222. Current reservation line availability dates can be found on Oprah’s website.
Getting last minute tickets: There is a small opportunity to get tickets at the last minute by filling in an online form request, but there’s a catch — the “Audience Department” is generally looking for someone that has a story to tell that matches that show’s topic. The upside is that perhaps you’ll get to be on television to tell your story or ask the guest a question. Current shows with possible last minute reservations can be found here.
What to know about Oprah tickets:
- The Oprah Winfrey Show tapes the show at Harpo Studios, located at 1058 West Washington in the West Loop area of Chicago.
- You must be 18 or older to attend.
- A photo ID is required.
- Everyone goes through security when entering the studio (i.e., your purse or bag will be checked)
Be On the Show: Of course, the best way to be at a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show is to actually be a part of it! The producers put up a list of regularly updated show topics, along with an online form for you to tell your story and potentially be a guest.
Please note: You must speak with an audience department employee in order to obtain reservations. Reservations are not guaranteed due to schedule changes that could happen at any time. Promises of reservations or tickets through other sources are not valid. Do not pay anyone money for Oprah Show reservations or tickets.