The Burbank Studios

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This article is about the former NBC facility. For the former studio facilities by the same name (but a different, now defunct entity) used by Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros., see Warner Bros.#Columbia partnership.
The Burbank Studios
The burbank studios alameda.jpg
General information
Status Complete
Type television studios Complex
Location Burbank, California
United States
Completed 1952
Owner Worthe Real Estate Group
(Currently)
NBCUniversal (Previously)
Technical details
Floor count 6
Design and construction
Developer Radio Corporation of America
References
[1]

The Burbank Studios (formerly known as NBC Studios) is a television production facility located in Burbank, California. The studios are home to Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood Live, Days of our Lives and Nickelodeon.

History[edit]

Radio City West was located at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles until it was replaced by a bank in the mid-1960s.

The West Coast Radio City opened in 1938 and served as headquarters to the NBC Radio Networks' West Coast operations. It served as a replacement for NBC's radio broadcast center in San Francisco, which had been around since the network's formation in 1927. Since NBC never owned a radio station in Los Angeles, the network's West Coast programming originated from its San Francisco station (KPO-AM, which later became KNBC-AM, and is now KNBR).

The architect for the distinctive Streamline Moderne building at Hollywood and Vine was John C. Austin.[2]

In January 1949, NBC launched its newest television station for Los Angeles, KNBH (Channel 4; now KNBC) from Radio City; the radio studios were later equipped for live television broadcasting in the transition phase from radio broadcasting. However, as television production was increasing for NBC, the network and its then-parent RCA decided to build a television studio, nicknamed NBC Color City, that would be exclusively equipped for color broadcasting. For many of the same reasons why CBS eventually built Television City in the early 1950s, the television facilities at Radio City gradually became too small for NBC to produce its television broadcasts.

RCA's decision to expand television studio facilities required moving to the real estate market in the San Fernando Valley-Burbank area, with land purchased from Jack Warner. The newly christened NBC Color City Studios opened in March 1955, as the first television studio designed specially for the origination of color television broadcasting, although their rivals, ABC and CBS would gradually add color broadcasting to their studio facilities in the later years.

KNBC moved to a new building in 1962. In 1964, the West Coast Radio City building was demolished, as NBC moved more of their West Coast television operations to the Burbank facility. The site is now occupied by a bank.

Although the first phase of this project was completed in September 1952 and a few black-and-white programs were broadcast from there for two and a half years, the facility was officially dedicated on March 27, 1955. It was known back then as NBC Color City, since the recently completed studio at the complex is said to be the first TV studio equipped exclusively for "color broadcasting". The Administration Building, erected first, was divided from the studio stages by a midway main drive access which separated the first two black and white studios on Alameda Avenue, stages 1 and 3, from the main office facility. An underground tunnel, under the entrance driveway, connected the administration building with the stage's entrance Reception Page Desk and guest foyer. Rehearsal halls, drapery, construction-mill, scenic paint frames with basement floor wells, electric, transportation, costume sewing shop, and production (art and technical) support offices comprised the original completed studio. Further expansion with the addition of color studios 2 and 4 on California Street, engineering, editing facilities, and additional offices, completed the finished studio in 1955. Studio 1 originally had a bowling alley built in the basement under the stage floor for Danny Kaye. Dressing rooms, make-up and hair, and a costume room were shared with Studio 3 on the main stage [1 and 3] corridor stage level; upstairs, on the second floor, a Director-Technical Control monitor booth-room overlooking each stage; with sound, camera-engineering and lighting-dimmer board control support rooms, client viewing room, for each studio comprised the sound stages' second floor. Additional dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, music storage file rooms were located in the basement, and above the studio street audience foyer holding reception areas. Both stages had raked permanent audience seating for 350 spectators. Due to wear, the Studio 3 permanent audience area was removed in 1959 to expand the studio's footprint. Planning Studio 2 and 4, movable audience bleachers were utilized maintaining an expansive studio stage area with a full 360 degree sharks tooth and bleached muslin cyclorama. Studio 4 had a swimming pool pit, built specially for Esther Williams and aquatic ballet, with camera port-hole pit windows located around the perimeter of the stage. The flooring over the water tank proved unreliable for heavy camera crane dolly and normal television cameras tracking and pan movements and the tank was removed in 1959. Studio 2 and 4 were primarily reserved for color specials, later for music and variety series television productions such as Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Eddie Fisher, Dinah Shore, Andy Williams, Wheel of Fortune, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Mitzi Gaynor, Danny Kaye, Fun Factory, Days of Our Lives, Lux Video Theatre, Bright Promise, Return to Peyton Place and others.

A next full phase of the project was finished in November 1962, which accommodated the move of the network's Los Angeles [Hollywood, Sunset and Vine] station, on Channel 4, from Hollywood to Burbank. Channel 4 changed its call letters from KRCA to KNBC upon the move. The original RCA-NBC TV-Radio Hollywood studio, located one block west of the CBS TV/Radio Columbia Square studios, on Sunset Boulevard at the corner of Vine Street, was at the center of the radio-television entertainment footprint. After selling the original RCA Hollywood (Sunset and Vine) studios, RCA-NBC purchased property, one block west, to maintain its RCA-NBC Broadcasting License for its FCC license to remain intact. This facility's primary purpose was as recording studios and offices. Years later, the broadcasting license was exchanged for the NBC-Burbank location. Home to NBC's west coast flagship station KNBC, it also housed the network's West Coast broadcast operations, its Los Angeles news bureau, as well as the Telemundo network's local owned & operated station, KVEA (Channel 52). ABC TV was located at the former film lot located at Prospect Boulevard (extension of Hollywood Boulevard) and Talmadge Avenue. ABC leased stages on Vine Street for broadcasting facilities in El Capitan Theatre and Don Lee Radio Studio.

This studio hosted production of many of the best-remembered game and variety shows from the 1950s through the 1990s, including The Tonight Show beginning in 1972. In that year, Johnny Carson moved the show to California from New York where it remained until 2009 when Jay Leno handed hosting duties to Conan O'Brien. During the late 1960s, the Carson Tonight Show would move for periods to Burbank, using studio 1. After the permanent move to Burbank, Bob Hope's show taped in studio 1, with The Tonight Show taking a hiatus while Hope produced his specials.

The short-lived The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien taped a few miles away at Universal Studios in Studio One, which later housed E!'s late night series Chelsea Lately and as of August 2014 is currently vacant. Upon Leno's return as host of the The Tonight Show in 2010, it resumed taping in the Burbank facility, until his final departure in 2014.

NBC's move to Universal City[edit]

In October 2007, the network announced that it planned to move most of its operations from Burbank to a new complex across the street from Universal Studios in Universal City.[3] It would retain offices at the Burbank site until May, 2013, though the studio complex was sold to Catalina/Worthe Real Estate Group in 2008 with NBC-Universal leasing space until 2013. The former Technicolor building on the Universal lot serves as the new home to NBC's West Coast Operations.[4] KNBC 4 and NBC News, along with KVEA Telemundo 52, began broadcasting from Universal Studios on February 2, 2014.

In preparation for the move, The Ellen DeGeneres Show moved to the nearby Warner Bros. Studios in 2008, and when Conan O'Brien assumed hosting duties, The Tonight Show moved to an all-digital studio on the Universal Studios lot in 2009. The Jay Leno Show continued to broadcast from the NBC Burbank studios as Leno's Tonight Show had, though from Studio 11. From March 1, 2010 to February 6, 2014, the The Tonight Show taped at Studio 11.

The Tonight Show moved back to New York City in 2014 when Jimmy Fallon replaced the departing Leno, marking the end of a 42-year era in which the show had taped from Southern California.[5]

The Burbank facility was one of the few television-specific studio facilities in Hollywood that offered tours to the general public until they ceased July 6, 2012.[6]

On March 13, 2014, Lawrence O'Donnell announced that his MSNBC broadcast that night would be the last nationally televised show to be broadcast live from NBC's Burbank lot, as they were moving to Universal Studios.

Program history[edit]

Today, the studio houses Days of Our Lives, Access Hollywood, and its daytime companion show, Access Hollywood Live. Programs produced here over the years include:

Program Network/Station Years Taped Studio
Access Hollywood Syndication 1996–present 1, 5
Access Hollywood Live Syndication 2010–present 1
The All-New Jeopardy! NBC 1978–1979 3
All Star Secrets NBC 1979
Amen NBC 1986–1991
The Andy Williams Show NBC 1962–1967; 1969–1971 4
An Evening with Fred Astaire
(TV special)
NBC 1958 2
Baffle NBC 1973–1974
Battlestars NBC 1981–1982; 1983 3
Blank Check NBC 1975 4
Blockbusters NBC 1980–1982; 1987 2, 3, 4
Bullseye Syndication 1980–1981 3
Card Sharks NBC 1978–1981 3, 4
Celebrity Sweepstakes NBC, Syndication 1974–1977 9
Chain Letter NBC 1966
Chain Reaction NBC 1980 2, 4
Channel 4 News KNBC 1962–2014 5"N",10
Chico and the Man NBC 1974–1978 1
Classic Concentration NBC 1987–1991 3
C.P.O. Sharkey NBC 1976–1978 3
Days of Our Lives NBC 1965–present 9, 2 & 4
The Dean Martin Show NBC 1965–1974 2
Dream House NBC 1983–1984 3
Designing Women CBS 1986–1987 CBS Radford
Dog Eat Dog NBC 2002–2003 1
The Don Knotts Show NBC 1970–1971 2
The Don Rickles Show NBC 1968–1969 2
The Ellen DeGeneres Show Syndication 2003–2008 11
Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special
(TV special)
NBC 1968 4
The Facts of Life NBC 1987–1988
Family Feud Syndication 2000–2003 11
Fight Back! with David Horowitz Syndication 1980–1992 5"P"
The Flip Wilson Show NBC 1970–1974 2
Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music
(TV special)
NBC 1965 4
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air NBC 1993–1996 11
The Funny Side NBC 1971–1972
Generations NBC 1989–1991
Go NBC 1983–1984 2
The Gong Show NBC, Syndication 1976–1978 3
Henry Danger Nickelodeon 2014- 11
High Rollers NBC 1974–1976; 1978–1980 3
Hit Man NBC 1983 4
Hollywood Squares NBC, Syndication 1966–1980; 1986 3
Hot Potato NBC 1984 2
In the House NBC, UPN 1995–1999
I'll Bet NBC 1965
It Could Be You NBC 1956–1961
It Pays to Be Ignorant Syndication 1973–1974
It Takes Two NBC 1969–1970
It's Anybody's Guess NBC 1977 3
It's Your Bet Syndication 1969–1973
The Jay Leno Show NBC 2009–2010 11
The John Davidson Show Syndication 1980–1981 2
Just Men! NBC 1983 2
Last Call with Carson Daly NBC 2005–2009 9
Let's Make a Deal NBC, Syndication 1963–1968; 1984–1985; 2003 1, 4
Letters to Laugh-In NBC 1969 2
Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour NBC 1983–1984 3
Make Your Own Kind of Music NBC 1971
Mike Hammer CBS 1984-1985
Mindreaders NBC 1979–1980 4
The Midnight Special NBC 1972–1983 2, 4
The Nat King Cole Show NBC 1956–1957 2
PDQ Syndication 1965–1969
Passions NBC, DirecTV 101 Network 1999–2008 CBS Radford
Password Plus NBC 1979–1982 3
People are Funny NBC 1956–1961; 1984 3
People Will Talk NBC 1963 3
Punky Brewster NBC, Syndication 1984–1988 11
Real People NBC 1979–1984
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In NBC 1968–1973 3
Sale of the Century NBC, Syndication 1983–1989 3
The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show NBC 1966 2
Sanford and Son NBC 1972–1977 3
Santa Barbara NBC 1984–1993 11
Saved by the Bell NBC 1989–1993
Saved by the Bell: The New Class NBC 1993–2000
Scrabble NBC 1984–1990; 1993 2, 3
Sonny with a Chance Disney Channel 2008–2009 11
Super Password NBC 1984–1989 3
Supermarket Sweep Pax TV 2001–2003 11
Time Machine NBC 1985
To Say the Least NBC 1977–1978
To Tell the Truth NBC, Syndication 1990–1991; 2000–2002 1, 11
The Tonight Show
(Johnny Carson and Jay Leno)
NBC 1972–2009; 2010–2014 1, 3, 11
Three for the Money NBC 1975
This Is Your Life NBC 1958–1961 3
Truth or Consequences NBC 1960–1965 1, 3
Tomorrow NBC 1973–1974; 1977–1979 1, 5
Twenty One NBC 2000 1
The Weakest Link NBC 2001–02 1
Welcome Back, Kotter ABC 1975–76
What's This Song? NBC 1964–1965
Wheel of Fortune NBC, Syndication 1975–1989 2, 4
Wordplay NBC 1986–1987 4
You Bet Your Life/The Groucho Show NBC 1960–1961 3
You Don't Say! NBC 1963–1969 3
Your Number's Up NBC 1985 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Burbank Studios at Emporis
  2. ^ "International Directory of Company Histories-The Austin Company". International Directory of Company Histories. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Schneider, Michael (10 October 2007). "NBC moving from Burbank to L.A.". Variety. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  4. ^ Miller, Daniel (4 January 2012). "NBCUniversal to Build New Broadcast Center". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  5. ^ Memmott, Mark (3 April 2013). "It's Set: Jimmy Fallon To Replace Jay Leno On 'Tonight Show' In Spring 2014". Must Reads (NPR). Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  6. ^ Flint, Joe (6 July 2012). "The Morning Fix: Big web for 'Spider-Man' and 'Ted.' WikiLeaks race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°09′15″N 118°20′01″W / 34.15408°N 118.33348°W / 34.15408; -118.33348