A manipulative technique that is similar to the laugh track is someone called a host. A host is used on “live” TV. This host is not one you see on the TV . This host is behind the scene working with the live audience.
The job of the host is to make the audience clap, boo, and cheer when they think it fits best. This is very common on shows such as American Idol and Dancing with The Stars.
I have personally experienced a “behind the scenes” host at multiple tapings of Dancing with the Stars. He gets paid to pump the audience up to make it to seem as if they are having a great time. This is not deceiving for the live audience since they are participating in the act but it is deceiving for the audience at home. It makes viewers at home believe the live audience is enjoying the performance going on even if they are not. When you hear the audience cheering during this section of dancing with the stars it is not because the audience wants to but it’s because the host is telling them too. It makes the show feel more alive because in reality sitting for over 3 hours is not fun at all.
Being a live audience definitely has its downs. The audience has to arrive two hours before airtime to get seated. By the time the show starts the energy of the audience is extremely low. This is why a “behind the scene” host is necessary during a 2-hour show. There needs to be someone there to liven the audience or else to viewers at home the show is not exciting. I found a “behind the scene” host is very similar to a laugh track because they control how they make the viewers at home feel.