No More NBC Studio Tours in Beautiful Downtown Burbank
It's the end of an era in beautiful downtown Burbank. At noon today, guests took the last tour of the NBC Studios there.
For decades, tourists have been able to pop in on NBC's Burbank lot and get visits to sets including"The Tonight Show" from willing and cheerful pages. But the studio has been sold and most of NBC has or is moving over to the Universal lot so the tours are ending.
The NBC Studio tour was unique among its contemporaries, as no other major commercial network offers visitors a chance to see television production facilities behind-the-scenes. Seeing Stars has warned past guests that the modest tour "is not a theme park in disguise," (you know, like that one down the way in a city called Universal), but also glossed quite a bit (or just walked you by key spots on the lot) during the 90-minute tour, of which for many the highlight remained the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show" set (Leno moved out of that in 1994).
For local blogger Mike (Schneider) of Franklin Avenue, who ended up working in media in L.A., the NBC Studio tour was a personal favorite when visiting the area in the 1980s:
A trip to see the NBC lot was cool in itself -- I was steps away from the likes of Brandon Tartikoff, a name I knew thanks to reading TV Guide. But then we actually got to see the "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" set when it was dark, plus walk past soundstages and see the local news set. For a 10 year-old, that was all awesome.
Since not many NBC TV shows were actually shot at NBC Studios, the tour in recent years was more likely to appeal to the heftily nostalgic, thrifty (tours were less than $10), or soap opera fanatics.