A Los Angeles city commission will consider Thursday if it will recommend that CBS Television City should be named a historic-cultural monument.
The Los Angeles City Cultural Heritage Commission is set to review an application filed by the nonprofit Los Angeles Conservancy last year amid reports that the sprawling complex may be put up for sale by CBS.
The Los Angeles Times reported in 2017 that real estate developers have been eyeing the complex, which could fetch for $500 million to $900 million, although a historic-cultural monument designation by the city would put a stop to any plans to raze the facility for at least a year while alternative preservation methods are considered.
The monument application must first pass through the commission and the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee before coming for a vote before the full City Council.
Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has voiced support for preserving the 25-acre facility, which dates back to the 1950s and has been home for many iconic shows, including “The Jack Benny Program,” “The Price Is Right,” “The Carol Burnett Show,” and “All in the Family.”
“Los Angeles should not let developers turn the historic studio complex into a mini Century City,” Yaroslavsky wrote in an op-ed in The Times.
The staff of the Cultural Heritage Commission has recommended that the site be named a monument for several reasons, including that it found it is a notable work of master architects William Pereira and Charles Luckman. Staff also found the site noteworthy for its numerous connections to important historical figures, its association with the television industry and its significant role in the economic development of Los Angeles.
Broadcasting pioneer William S. Paley built Television City as the first large-scale facility designed specifically for television production. But CBS has moved most of its operations to the CBS Studio Center in Studio City and is now more of a landlord at Television City, renting out most of the available studios to non-CBS shows such as HBO’s “Real Tim With Bill Maher” and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”
Some programs that air on CBS still shoot there, including “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” but only one program owned by CBS, “The Late, Late Show With James Corden,” shoots at Television City, which could be part of the network’s motivation to consider a sale, according to The Times.