If College of Charleston students appear a bit distracted during final exams this week, it’s because NBC’s “Today” show is coming to the Cistern Yard on Thursday.

Hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, the production will tape two shows at the college, according to the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The shows will air at 10 a.m. Thursday and Friday. Friday’s show will be taped at 8 a.m. Thursday, while Thursday’s show will air live.

The public can attend tapings as members of the audience. Fans should arrive at the George Street entrance to the Cistern Yard starting at 7 a.m. Security will clear members of the audience through Porter’s Lodge at 7:30 a.m., and audience members must be inside by the start of the 8 a.m. taping.

The live show will begin at 10 a.m. A prize will be given to the audience member with the best sign, and members of the audience may be invited to participate in a game of Charleston trivia.

The shows will feature a variety of special guests, Lowcountry recipes and locally made products from the city readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine named the 2012 Top U.S. Travel Destination for the second consecutive year.

“Charleston is called ‘a city set in a garden’ for good reason,” says Frank Fredericks, Wild Dunes Resort managing director and Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau chairman. “The exquisite natural beauty of the Lowcountry during spring season is a wonder to behold, and we are delighted to share our beautiful setting with the ‘Today’ show audience.”

To produce the live-on-location broadcasts, 50 members of NBC’s production team will arrive in Charleston prior to the tapings. A team of producers previously visited the area to scout possible venues, while “Today” correspondent Sara Haines recently spent time in the Charleston area filming segments for the special shows.

During the tapings, George Street will be closed to vehicular traffic between St. Philip and Coming streets, with one lane on St. Philip Street closed for use by satellite trucks. Public parking is available at several nearby garages, including Wentworth Street Garage at the intersection of Wentworth and St. Philip streets and Francis Marion Garage on King Street beside the Francis Marion Hotel.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524