Universal Creating Nbc Studio On Its Lot
In what some Hollywood observers regard as part of a plan to meld GE's Universal and NBC businesses, Universal's historic Stage 1, which had been used most recently to house the permanent sets for ABC's Desperate Housewives, is due to be torn down and eventually reconstructed as an NBC television theater with audience seats for the Tonight show and possibly other variety programs, according to the Hollywood Today website. The state-of-the-art digs may also help lure Conan O'Brien to the West Coast when he takes over the Tonight show from Jay Leno in two years, the report said. The reconstruction, which is due to be augmented with a four-story office complex, is expected to be completed in about a year and a half. A studio spokesman said that no decision has been made to move NBC's current studio and office facilities in what the Laugh-In bunch once mocked as "beautiful downtown Burbank" to the Universal City complex. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Desperate Housewives, complimented Universal for the way it relocated sets from Stage 1 to a different -- and larger -- stage. "It is never easy to move permanent sets and therefore there was initial disappointment and hesitancy," the spokesman told Hollywood Today, "but because it was handled so well we are very happy to have made the change."