Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rollin' like VIPs on the lot

My friend Julius arranged for us to go on the CBS Radford lot. He's cool like that. He even took time out of his busy schedule to give us a private tour! Here we are on "New York Street" in one of the porches used for Seinfeld exterior shots. We drove past the "Soup Nazi" storefront.

Before our tour, we got to see a rehearsal of Gary Unmarried. Gabrielle Reece and Lair Hamilton guest starred so we got to see them too! I suppose we should have stuck around to get autographs. I regretted not doing that for my cousin's sake. He got to keep a copy of the script though. It was fun watching all the cameras rolling around, grips up top operating lights, etc. It was such a relaxed fun atmosphere. The kid actor knew more of his lines than any of the adults.

We grabbed lunch at the commissary and then got to zip around on one of those electric golf carts for the tour. I really like those. And they're eco-friendly! Way better than the smelly, diesel trams at Universal Studios. I can see why some of the super rich use them to navigate their obscenely large estates. We couldn't find the horn though to honk. I can't remember who we were trying to honk.

As you can see, the weather was perfection. We saw a setup outside on one of their suburb streets. Most of the houses double for actual production offices. I guess they shoot interior scenes on a stage but grab exteriors on faux streets like this. Julius parked the cart to let us take a peek inside the CSI New York set soundstage. Check out the gurney in the autopsy room!

Julius knew so much lot history, he was the perfect tour guide! He pointed out where the Gilligan's Island set once was. Tucked down in a little tree edged glen, we could imagine the once idyllic set. Now the area is dotted with production office bungalows and asphalt parking spots. The big green lagoon has been reduced to a tiny pond with a demure little spray fountain --covered by a ridiculously useless miniature bridge. Seriously, the nearly puddle was maybe three feet across. We zoomed past the old Malcolm in the Middle House, the old Will & Grace stage, the old 70's show stage, the current Big Brother stage where they put in the entire house after lifting it off its foundation elsewhere. All the old stages are now used for newer shows but I didn't recognize a lot of them. The lot is not as flashy as many of the other lots in the city -- Julius referred to it as a boutique lot. Regardless, we had an amazing time.

Thanks so much Julius! I owe you a Grey Goose Martini with three olives. Name the time and place!

Wouldn't you know it, Mike requested Souplantation for his final L.A. dinner. No joke. He was so happy afterward.


  1. I like the Soup Plantation, haven't been in years though. Where is the nearest one in Burbank or Studio City?

    Ketel One Martini,
    Olives & Onions, Shaken not Stirred!

  2. dang it julius! i forgot you're a ketel one guy! wonder if they serve vodka at the souplantation? I just did search, the nearest one is in pasadena!