CBS Television City | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

CBS Television City

UPDATE: On July 14, 2022, the City of Los Angeles Released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the TVC 2050 Specific Plan. Public comments for the Plan are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on September 13. You can review the Draft EIR on the City's Planning website

The Conservancy is pleased to share that, in collaboration with Hackman Capital Partners, there is now a refined plan for this project that preserves historic TVC while allowing for significant new development at this legendary studio property: a comprehensive framework for a state of-the-art modernization will preserve the historic complex and maintain the 430- foot Beverly Boulevard view shed. 

This proposed project is still in the early phases of the development and approval process. The Conservancy will remain involved and ultimately a part of the formal review process regarding the design and materiality of the proposed new construction. The Conservancy’s goal has been to preserve TVC, though not freezing it in time, but kept in a way where new development does not fundamentally harm this conic L.A. landmark. 

To learn more, check out the Conservancy's blog story, "A Win-Win for Television City." 


A public scoping meeting for the proposed project was held on Tuesday, July 20. Public comments regarding the proposed project were due by August 2, 2021 (4 p.m.) by mail and/or mail these to Paul Caporaso at Los Angeles Department of City Planning at 221 North Figueroa Street, Suite 1350, Los Angeles, CA 90012 and paul.caporaso@lacity.org. The Conservancy submitted the following comments

On March 26, 2021, plans were revealed for a $1.25-billion overhaul to historic CBS Television City (1952) in the Fairfax District. The Conservancy, which initiated and worked very closely with CBS on the studio’s Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) designation in 2018, has long-anticipated new development on the parcels around the historic building. While we support density and are glad to see reinvestment and job creation, we have serious concerns about where the density is being placed in the proposed new construction and how it will impact the historic studio building. 

As envisioned at the time, a new multi-story building was to be built directly on top of the HCM-designated historic studio building. Looming large over CBS Television City, we believed this to be incompatible and to potentially jeopardize its historic status.

Hackman Capital is seeking a specific plan approval (along with other approvals, including a General Plan amendment) for office expansion and new studio spaces, intially proposed for between 15 to 21 studios.  

At the time, we believed there was a win-win opportunity and were hopeful to work with the owners, Hackman Capital, toward a solution that would allow for expansion while still maintaining the look and feel of the beloved and iconic CBS Television City studio.

In 2018, CBS Corp. sold its 25-acre Television City property, to Hackman Capital Partners for a reported $750 million.  In June 2018, the Conservancy successfully nominated and listed the studio as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). Previously the Conservancy worked with this owner and their consultant team on the Culver Studios project. 

As contemplated as part of the HCM process, there will be the opportunity for portions (not covered by the HCM) of the large site to be redeveloped. The HCM designation will help guide future development on the site while retaining its historic and character-defining features.

The Conservancy worked very closely with CBS on the HCM nomination, and their leadership came out in full support. Thank you to all who supported this effort, especially former Councilmember David Ryu at the time. 

In December 2017, the Conservancy submitted the nomination to designate the storied CBS Television City complex as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) following news in September that CBS Corporation was potentially interested in marketing the 25-acre property. The announcement of a potential sale had raised widespread concern over the fate of the architecturally and culturally significant campus, which was identified as National Register-eligible in Los Angeles’ SurveyLA.

Opened in 1952 at the southeast corner of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, CBS Television City is the first large-scale facility designed specifically for television production in the United States. CBS hired the local architecture firm Pereira & Luckman to design its new headquarters, which contained soundstages, studios, editing rooms, offices, rehearsal halls, shops, and storage. On the interior, flexibility was key: studio walls, and even some exterior walls, could be moved and rearranged to accommodate the needs of specific productions. Among the architects on the Pereira & Luckman project team were acclaimed architects Gin Wong, James Langenheim, and Charles Stanton.

For more than six decades and counting it has been the portal by which some of America’s most beloved television shows have been produced. From within its modern and custom-designed stages, television broke new ground, from  variety/sketch comedy television shows like The Carol Burnett Show to the life of Archie Bunker and the controversial issues of the day in All in the Family.

If you are interested in seeing CBS Television City in 1953 and the excitment about its opening, check out this short film narrated by none other than Edward R. Murrow.  

While we support density and are glad to see reinvestment and job creation, we had serious concerns about where the density was being placed in the initial plan for the proposed new construction and how it would impact the historic studio building. The expansion project at the time included a multi-story building directly on top of the historic landmark.

The Conservancy is pleased to share that, in collaboration with Hackman Capital Partners, there is now a refined plan for this project that preserves historic TVC while allowing for significant new development at this legendary studio property: a comprehensive framework for a state of-the-art modernization will preserve the historic complex and maintain the 430- foot Beverly Boulevard view shed. 

 

The City of Los Angeles has released its Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the TVC 2050 Specific Plan. Public comments are due no Later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, August 29, 2022. You may submit your comments to 

Paul Caporaso
City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning
221 N. Figueroa Street, Suite 1350
Los Angeles, CA  90012
Email: paul.caporaso@lacity.org
Phone: (213) 847-3629