The Warner Bros. (formerly Columbia) Ranch: A TV Land Goldmine! Along with Universal, Columbia was the other major Hollywood studio that devoted a hefty portion of its production schedule to television series. The studio never grew to the grand scale of MGM, Universal or Warner Bros.; in fact, its facilities consisted mostly of a series of offices and soundstages on Gower Street in downtown Hollywood, and a small backlot located in southern Burbank.
By the mid-1950s, Columbia's motion picture output was flagging (largely churning out low-budget William Castle films and the like), and so the studio turned to television, thus creating its Screen Gems production unit.
When we TVparty-ers think "Screen Gems", visions of Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Partridge Family are immediately called to mind.
Indeed, Screen Gems produced all of these shows and more, and these families' famous addresses can still be found (for the most part) on the old Columbia backlot in Burbank.
<Looking down the street from the Bewitched house.
Long referred to as "The Ranch", this property is located between Oak Street and Verdugo Avenue at Hollywood Way, just a short drive from the Warner Bros. main lot.
Like Universal's Colonial Street, The Ranch comprises an assortment of architectural styles - suburban homes, two gas stations, a church, and 19th century-style townhouses - encircling a central park with trees, a fountain, and a swimming pool.
At one end is the famous Stephens house at 1164 Morning Glory Circle from Bewitched. This charming Cape Cod must be one of the most appealing of TV homes, for it was used extensively throughout the series and - unlike other TV homes - the interior spaces appeared to match those of the exterior.
In reality, the Stephens house is a shell: the structure has no back or right-side wall, and only a partial left wall. (Pedestrians can see the rear of the shell at the corner of North Kenwood and West Oak Streets in Burbank). Other than that, the structure is satisfying to see because it looks much as it did in the 1960s.
Even after staging a real fire in the house for an episode of Home Improvement, studio carpenters repaired the structure and made only minor repairs, such as replacing the original paned windows with casement ones. The main things which dramatically alter the facade's appearance are the two Burbank skyscrapers that now rise up behind it.
Unfortunately, the fate of The Partridge Family house is not as happy. While the original Mondrian-inspired bus is long destroyed , the Partridge home - which often doubled as Abner and Gladys Kravitz's house in Bewitched -- remained untouched until something called Lethal Weapon came along. That film's script called for a suburban house to be firebombed, and unfortunately the studio - Warner Bros. - chose the Partridge house.
Today, the charming triangular entryway is gone, and the structure has been rebuilt to resemble a barn-like, contemporary home. Fortunately, the adjacent garage where Shirley, Keith, Laurie and the gang rehearsed those groovy numbers still stands. The Partridge house is a not a facade but a fully enclosed structure which is used to store lighting and other equipment when it's not being blown up.
Directly next door to the Partridge house is Maj. Anthony Nelson's Cocoa Beach home from I Dream of Jeannie. This house, with its recognizable ivy-covered porch trellace, also served as the Anderson family's residence on the benchmark sitcom Father Knows Best. Today the house is, happily, still intact, with only minor changes to the front porch area.
As with the Partridge house, this structure is fully enclosed (the back exterior wall is simply white concrete) and is used for equipment storage.
The Ranch is full of more familiar TV Land sites: the houses from Dennis the Menace and Hazel; a red-brick church, hilariously chopped-off on the back and sides where the camera doesn't reach; and the widely used central park, which can still be seen today on the opening credits of Friends.
DID YOU KNOW: The Dennis (the Menace) Mitchell's house was constructed between 1934 and 1935 for the movie Party Wire at the fictional "Blondie Street" located at Columbia Ranch in Burbank, California. It was later moved and became well-known as the home of the Stone family on The Donna Reed Show in 1958, before becoming the home of the Mitchell family in 1959.
Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!
"I had the chance to see the Brady living room re created for the feature film. It was like being in the 70's show. Very Twilight Zone-ish! I saw and took pictures of the My Three Sons house a few years ago at the M.T.M./CBS Studio City lot but unfortunately I was on the lot a few weeks ago and the house was gone, replaced by production trailers! They should make a museum for these houses, instead of tearing them down."
- Brian D
"I enjoyed Ben's writeup on old TV houses. Although I'm not exactly sure how it works, because when Samantha opens the door . It looks like she's really inside the house. The interior living room was used in a mid '60's Great Shakes T commercial. The product was some sort of instant milkshake product.
"Also the interior of Gladys Kravitz's house was Donna Reed's. Although the exterior was the same as the Partridge Family. In a early Bewitched episode Darrin and Sam are renting a house 'till they get there own, the interior is the Hazel house. I think you saw the Bewitched house in the distance on Dennis the Menace but was it ever used prior to '64?.
"It's nice to know i have a kindred spirit out there. I'm always referred to as the T nut in my family, but I see I'm not alone. Thanks for the great writeup."
-Sincerely, Benjamin Koffler
"Hi, TVparty guys 'n' gals... browsing through your guide to TV houses, I had to write and ask this question, which has been in the back of my mind for 30-odd years.
"Am I right in remembering that the Cleavers' house in Leave it to Beaver is the same backlot house that Marcus Welby lived in? I seem to recall that the opening sequence in which Dr. Welby leaves his front door and walks toward his humungous 1969 Chrysler takes place in front of the same set from which June and Ward wave good-bye to Wally and the Beav as they headed off for school.
"Can anyone confirm this? Can someone please tell me why I remember this stuff?
- Sincerely, Tom Near Toronto Who Watched Far Too Much TV As A Kid And Can Actually Remember Being Major Angry When The Buffalo ABC Affiliate Refused To Air Turn On.
Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|
|Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / Punk Book / / 1970's TV / Groucho vs William F Buckley / / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / 1980's Retro Gay T-Shirts / 1980's TV Wrestling / Fess Parker / Howdy Doody / TV Blog / Lost In Space / Pinky Lee / 1980's LA Punk Rock / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!|