While in the Los Angeles area last fall, Lisa and I had the chance to watch a taping of the CBS comedy “Rules of Engagement.”
The show – in its seventh season – quickly became one of our favorite shows when it debuted. The series stars Patrick Warburton (“Seinfeld,” “The Tick,” “Family Guy”), Megyn Price (“Grounded for Life”), Oliver Hudson (son of Goldie Hawn), Bianca Kajlich (“Dawson’s Creek”), David Spade (“Saturday Night Live,” “Just Shoot Me”) and Adhil Kalyan (“Nip/Tuck”).
The show focuses on two couples and their two single friends. Jeff and Audry (Warburton and Price) are the married couple. Adam and Jen (Hudson and Kajlich) have been engaged throughout the series. The two couples live in the same apartment building. Russell (Spade) and Timmy (Kalyan) work together.
So, the episode we saw taped is called “The Cooking Class.” The couples take a healthy cooking class together, but Jeff and Adam become competitive with each other and hilarity ensues.
Watching the show get taped was great. It took 3 hours to film a 30-minute show. You would think it would be a quick show to tape. Not so, obviously.
Each scene is filmed three times. They do this for possible line changes, based on the audience’s reaction. The director (Soap and Blossom’s Ted Wass) would meet with the writers between shoots. They would rewrite lines. Then, they shoot the next take. If the second worked better, they did a third take, to play it safe.
The sets were cool to see. The stage has the permanent sets for an office, diner, and the couples’ apartments.
If they shoot a scene not on set, it was pre-filmed. They would show it on the monitors above the audience and record the laughter.
Since taping was 3 hours long, about halfway through, the staff handed out Subway sandwiches and bottled water.
It was awesome to see the actors up close. Warburton was very friendly. The emcee kept the audience entertained during breaks. He had a dance-off at one point. Warburton came out and watched a kid do a goofy dance. He was clapping along with the audience.
Hudson would walk around the set and joke with people. I swear the guy never stops smiling or laughing.
It was a great experience. We loved it.
If you are interested in seeing shows taped, if in Hollywood, check out these sites:
There may be others. just Google what you want to check out.
Oh, and do not pay to see a show taped. Tickets should be free. They are on a first come, first served basis. You may have to stand in line for a couple of hours to get on the set. But, it is worth it!