CBS Television City in Los Angeles
|Alternative names||CBS Television City|
|Location||Fairfax District, Los Angeles|
|Address||7800 Beverly Boulevard|
Los Angeles, California 90036
|Inaugurated||November 16, 1952|
|Owner||Hackman Capital Partners|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Pereira & Luckman|
CBS Television City, alternatively Television City, is an American television studio complex located in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles at 7800 Beverly Boulevard, at the corner of Fairfax Avenue. The studio along with Culver Studios is owned by Hackman Capital Partners. Designed by architect William Pereira, it is one of two CBS television studios in southern California -- the other is CBS Studio Center, located in the Studio City section of the San Fernando Valley, which houses additional production facilities and the network's Los Angeles local television operations (KCBS and KCAL). Since 1961, it has served as the master control facility for CBS's west coast television network operations which were previously based at Columbia Square.
Since its inauguration in 1952, numerous TV shows have been broadcast live or taped at Television City, including many shows not aired on CBS. It has also been the production site of several films such as the 1996 feature That Thing You Do!, starring Tom Hanks and Liv Tyler. During the opening credits of many of the shows taped here, a voice-over announced the phrase "from Television City in Hollywood". The complex currently houses a total of eight separate studios. The facility infrequently conducts backstage tours led by a CBS page.
CBS planned to move most of its entertainment operations to the Los Angeles area in 1950. As they needed additional space beyond its Columbia Square complex on Sunset Boulevard, CBS purchase the property at Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard that year. Hiring architect William Pereira, the company reported spend $7 million on the studio. Television City opened on November 16, 1952. It was built on the site of a former football field and race track, Gilmore Stadium. Before the stadium, it was an oil field.
Studio 43 was equipped with RCA TK-40A color cameras in 1954, with cables allowing any of the original four studios to use those cameras. In 1956, Studio 41 was equipped with RCA TK-41s. However, CBS color broadcasts decreased in frequency until the following decade, when the 1964 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella was recorded. CBS programs were, in general, in black-and-white until Norelco PC-60s were installed starting in 1964.
Studio 33 is the current home of the long-running CBS game show The Price Is Right and the HBO late-night series Real Time with Bill Maher. This soundstage was also the home of The Carol Burnett Show for its entire 1967-1978 run, and The Red Skelton Show prior to that (1953-1970), as well as the notable game shows Match Game (the 1973-82 Gene Rayburn-hosted version, and the 1998 version), The $25,000/$100,000 Pyramid (the 1980s run), Hollywood Squares (hosted by Tom Bergeron), Wheel of Fortune, the 1986-1989 revival of Card Sharks, and the 1988-1995 run of Family Feud. On April 9, 1998, on the 5000th episode of The Price Is Right (actually number 5133), CBS named Studio 33 as the Bob Barker Studio in honor of the show's longtime host and executive producer.
When it became standard for sitcoms to tape in front of a studio audience in the 1970s, many shows were recorded on soundstages at Television City, such as All in the Family, Maude, and Good Times. The ABC sitcoms Three's Company and Welcome Back, Kotter were also taped at Television City.
In September 2017, CBS investigated selling the property due to a development boom in the Fairfax District. As a result of this possibility, the city of Los Angeles is taking steps (as of May 2018) to officially declare the facility a historic and cultural monument. CBS Corp. sold Television City to Los Angeles real estate investment company Hackman Capital Partners for $750 million in a deal finalized in mid-December 2018. The deal gives the buyer the right to use the Television City name. Programs produced at Television City, including The Price Is Right, The Young and the Restless and The Late Late Show with James Corden will continue to be based at Television City, as will the headquarters of the CBS international unit.
The stark modern architecture at Television City consists of black and white planes meeting at razor-sharp corners, with accents of dazzling red, the work of Pereira & Luckman of Los Angeles. The studio facility was built to handle the larger production needs for the network, most of which took place at the rather cramped Columbia Square. The building's black and white color scheme was also used to identify areas where it was designed to be expanded. Black walls and glass walls indicated "temporary" structure that could be removed during expansion, while white areas were "permanent".
The building initially held four soundstages (Studios 31, 33, 41, and 43), but a renovation in the late 1980s added two new soundstages to the east of the original building (Studios 36 and 46), plus additional office/storage space and technical facilities. Later, another renovation further added two more studios (Studios 56 and 58) in what had been rehearsal halls in the original building. The original plans for Television City called for 24 soundstages, before CBS executives deciding to settle with just the initial four.
Below is a partial list of programs that have taped episodes or broadcast live at Television City.