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CBS Television City scores city landmark status

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The Fairfax campus played a huge role in television history

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A historic home of television production was recognized today by the Los Angeles City Council, which voted to name CBS Television City a historic-cultural monument.

“Today, we were able to preserve a piece of Los Angeles history and a vital part of our local economy,” Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, said in a statement.

Television City played a huge role in television history as “the first large-scale, all-new facility in the nation designed to meet the mass-production of television programming.” Its studios hosted Elvis Presley’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and hosted shows by Carol Burnett and Jack Benny.

The studio compound at Beverly and Fairfax is home to plenty of modern-day filming, including shows like The Price Is Right and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

The 25-acre Fairfax complex is also architecturally significant—a fine example of the International Style, and master work by midcentury modern architecture firm Pereira and Luckman.

The studios had been nominated for landmark status by the Los Angeles Conservancy after it was reported that CBS was mulling whether to sell the property, and that a few major developers were interested.

“A historic property is often at risk when it changes out of long-time stewardship,” Adrian Scott Fine, the conversancy’s director of advocacy, said at the time.

Now that Television City is a landmark, any planned major changes to its exterior—or something like a total redevelopment—would have to go through the city’s historic resources office.