CBS Plans to Sell Iconic Studio Center Where ‘Gunsmoke, ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and Others Were Filmed

by Madison Miller
Photo by: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

From the dusty, cobweb streets with Matt Dillon and Kitty to the beachy digs of the “Gilligan’s Island” crew, a piece of TV history may be getting sold soon.

Both of these shows were filmed at the CBS Studio Center. This is a filming area that sits on a 55-acre site within the even larger Studio City. The CBS Studio Center has a total of 22 different stages in which TV magic has taken place, or would take place.

CBS Will Sell Studio Center

Now, according to Variety, ViacomCBS just announced a deal to sell the plot for $1.85 billion to two different investment firms. The company has been looking to sell since the summer and a deal will likely be official by the end of the year.

In addition to “Gilligan’s Island” and “Gunsmoke,” the CBS Studio Center was once home to TV classics like “My Three Sons,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “American Gladiators,” and “Seinfeld.” It actually dates all the way back to 1928 when films were far quieter and a lot less colorful.

A movie studio first popped up in 1928 when Mack Sennett, a silent film producer and director, ventured out to San Fernando Valley. Before this location, Sennett produced films elsewhere with iconic people like Fatty Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin.

Eventually, the Studio City lot would be passed around to different film companies. One of which was actually Republic Studios. This studio was famous for making Westerns with icons like John Wayne, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers.

The CBS Studio Center is full of some of the TV industry’s richest history. This new move is part of a series of real-estate-related endeavors. For example, CBS recently also sold the Black Rock skyscraper. This is the New York headquarters, which sold for a $760 million price tag.

‘Gunsmoke’ Iconic Actor

Right behind “Law & Order: SVU,” “Gunsmoke” is one of the longest-running scripted primetime series in history. It ran for a total of 20 seasons before eventually getting canceled.

It was the life and career staple of several iconic actors like James Arness, Amanda Blake, Dennis Weaver, and Ken Curtis. Fans of the popular Western series likely also remember Glenn Strange as Sam Noonan. He was the famous bartender at the Long Branch Saloon. He appeared on the series from 1961 to 1973, which was shortly before his death.

“Gunsmoke” was likely his most popular role, but certainly not his only Hollywood job. He would go on to become the face of an infamous literary and theatrical character — Frankenstein’s monster. He first appeared in “The Mad Monster” in 1942 and again played the character in the 1944 movie “House of Frankenstein.”

This pattern would continue in “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “House of Dracula,” and “Master Minds.”