Los Angeles:

a tour of famous TV studios

Camila Lafratta

Max Whittaker, Publicity/Warner, Getty Images, Publicity, Publicity/Fox Life, Publicity/Fox/Universal Television, NBC Universal Media Llc

In the month of the season premieres and the Emmy Awards, a guide to Los Angeles for anyone who loves TV


Everybody comes to Hollywood. The world capital of fame, Los Angeles – the city of stars, of lights, of angels – is recognized as the place where dreams come true, both for those who come looking for success, and those who want to be near the glamor. Part of the fascination that attracts so many to California's biggest city (which welcomed over 48 million visitors in 2017) is the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the entertainment industry. Many people associate Los Angeles with the movies, but few know that the city isn't just the epicenter for feature films, but also the most popular TV and streaming shows in the world. In the following pages, we present you with the wonderful world behind these shows.


Fiction factories

Where the main LA and surrounding area studios are located



Looks like it, but it’s not

You know that show about the cops in Brooklyn? Or the one about the doctors in Seattle? Sorry to spoil the magic, but there's a good chance they're all filmed within a few miles of each other. Most of the all-powerful Hollywood studios that recreate cities and invent worlds are scattered throughout the San Fernando Valley, which spans North Hollywood and cities like Burbank and Calabasas. Many offer guided tours, and some have a special appeal for TV fanatics. But here's an important detail: one tour may be totally different from the next, since itineraries depend on shooting schedules.


Universal Studios Tour

The backstage tour is one attraction to the Universal theme park and it includes a guide who tells stories about the studio, as well as videos of talk show host Jimmy Fallon. The tour stops by Wisteria Lane, from the show Desperate Housewives, the small town from the classic Murder, She Wrote, and a set of New York City. There are also special effects demonstrations, including an earthquake and a colossal rainstorm.

100 Universal City Plaza


Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Leonard and Sheldon's apartment in The Big Bang Theory is located in Pasadena, California. Rachel and Monica's place in Friends is in New York City. But both were shot in studios 25 and 24 inside the Warner complex. Details like these are what add flavor to the tour, which includes visits to old and new sets, including the town in Gilmore Girls and the high school in Pretty Little Liars. If you're lucky, you might even run into Ellen DeGeneres, whose show is also shot there.

3400 Warner Boulevard, Burbank


Live and in color

For sitcoms and talk shows, the studio audience plays an important role: for instance, if a joke doesn't get laughs, the actors and writers try to improvise until they get the desired reaction. If you'd like to watch a show being filmed, keep an eye on the websites Audiences Unlimited, Tvtix, and 1iota. Tickets are usually made available 30 days in advance. And the confirmation might only come the night before. As such, flexibility is the key to avoiding frustration.


Looks like it, and it really is!

Visiting the backstage of TV sets is fun. But nothing compares to the sensation of unpretentiously recognizing a house, store or restaurant that's featured in an episode, or even several. We selected a few shows that have Easter eggs scattered around LA.


Modern Family

The family that has won hearts (and many Golden Globes) is divided into three nuclei and the facades of their houses really do exist: two of them are between Culver City and Beverly Hills and the third is further west, near Santa Monica. It's possible to see them up close, but don't go knocking on the doors: people actually live in them. Other locations that only fans will recognize include Pinz Bowling Center, where Cameron and Jay go bowling in a few episodes, and the South Bay Galleria, an outdoor shopping mall in pleasant Redondo Beach, where the character Manny makes an unsuccessful pick-up attempt in the pilot episode.


Dunphy residence: 10.336 Dunleer Drive, Cheviot Hills

Pritchett-Tucker residence: 2.211 Fox Hills Drive

Pritchett-Delgado residence: 121 South Cliffwood Avenue, Brentwood

Pinz Bowling Center: 12.655 Ventura Boulevard

South Bay Galleria: 1.815 Hawthorne Boulevard, Redondo Beach


This is Us

The Pearson family does their best to get the audience to cry in every episode of this drama, but, on the rare occasions in which your eyes are dry, you might be able to identify some of its locations in real life. This is the case of one mansion in the Hollywood Hills, where the character Kevin throws a party in the pilot episode. In the neighborhood of San Pedro, in the south of Los Angeles, you'll find Godmother's Saloon, the bar which fans will recognize by its fictional name, Froggy’s.

Kevin's House: 2100 Castilian Drive

Godmother's Saloon: 302 W 7th Street


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

It may be named after the famed NYC borough, but almost everything in this funny cop show was filmed in Los Angeles. In the first episode, detectives Jake Peralta and Charles Boyle go to a deli looking for a suspect. The scene was filmed at Monte Carlo Italian Deli in Burbank, famous for its ice cream. Fans of Peralta will no doubt remember that the detective's favorite movie is Die Hard. The iconic building seen in the movie, Nakatomi Plaza, is located in LA: the skyscraper is actually called Fox Plaza and it's home to the offices of 20th Century Fox.

Monte Carlo Italian Deli: 3103 W Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank

Fox Plaza: 2121 Avenue of the Stars


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Special thanks: Visit California, LA Tourism & Convention Board, Global Icons.