I hope you’ve been able to catch American Housewife on ABC. This hilarious show stars Katy Mixon, Diedrich Bader, Meg Donnelly, Daniel DiMaggio, and Julia Butters. Carly Hughes and Ali Wong are also featured. The show features the Otto family, a middle-class family living in the rich town of Westport, Connecticut.
CBS Studio Center
The show is filmed at CBS Studio Center in Studio City, California, home of other hit shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Man With A Plan, and Big Brother, also many past productions, including Will & Grace and Seinfeld.
American Housewife films on two soundstages. Stage 23 houses the interior sets of the Otto house, along with the café, which are permanent sets. Stage 11 is used to construct temporary sets as needed for the show.
The Otto House
The exterior of the Otto house is a facade located on the CBS Radford lot. They are able to use this house for a lot of shots on the show as it is located on the studio. Actual houses in residential neighbourhoods need to be scheduled and have permits. Because this house is on the lot, the crew is able to film here whenever needed.
The house is on a backlot residential street known as My Three Sons Street. It includes several houses and multi-use buildings. CBS Radford makes good use of space, because inside are offices for the various productions.
On American Housewife, the house across the street is depicted as a large mansion. There is no mansion across the street however. Generally they use a fake backdrop or CGI editing to add the house.
Next to the Otto house is an empty lawn area which is dressed up as the Otto backyard. It can also be used as a park or garden if needed in the script.
Teen Help Line
In season 4, Oliver begins volunteering at the Teen Help Line. The building used for the center is one of the houses on the Residential Street. This house is actually located directly across the street from the Otto house.
The American Housewife-Leave It To Beaver Connection
Leave It To Beaver at the Radford Studios
A number of websites have identified the Otto house as the same house from Leave It To Beaver. This is actually false, although there are connections between the shows.
The first two seasons of Leave It To Beaver were filmed at CBS Radford, then known as Republic Studios. There was a house used as a facade on the series, but it is not the Otto house. It was a completely different house and located on a different street.
Move to Universal
At the end of season 2, the show moved to Universal Studios, and thus featured a new house. This house is still located on Universal’s backlot, but is not the one people think it is. The house from the original series has been moved to an area not included in tours.
The Midwest Street House
The house on the Midwest Street (often referred to as Wysteria Lane due to the filming of Desperate Housewives) was actually built for the Leave It To Beaver movie that was released in the mid 1990s.
The House Resemblance
The house used on American Housewife for the Otto residence has a striking resemblance to the Leave It To Beaver house at Universal. In fact, the house is nearly identical, with the exception of the front bay windows and the colours of the house. I wasn’t able to find any info as to when the Otto house was built on the CBS Radford lot, or why it is so similar to the Universal house. That being said, they are in fact two completely different buildings.
Here you can see the Leave It To Beaver and American Housewife houses side by side to compare.
New York Street Backlot
Another area used on American Housewife is the New York backlot. This area has been on the CBS Radford lot since the early 1990s, as it was built for use on Seinfeld.
While it isn’t meant to look like New York on American Housewife, it still maintains that gritty appearance. It has been used numerous times on the series.
In season 2 Oliver starts dating Gina, a girl in his ballet class. She works at her family’s pizza restaurant, Tuscadero’s. A number of episodes have featured this location. This includes the episode where Oliver releases lanterns into the night sky to win Gina over.
Westport Unified School
While CBS Studio Center is not open to the public, there is one location from the show that you can visit. Scenes set at Westport Unified School are filmed at a real high school located in Burbank. As the show is fairly new, there was almost no public information on where this school was located. As a fan of the show, and with an upcoming trip to, it was my goal to track it down. With some hard work and a few tricks, I managed to figure out that they film at Johns Burroughs High School. This is actually the same school used for filming in The Wonder Years, however the school has been significantly modified since then.
The building is instantly recognizable from the show. A change to the school sign and a few banners, and the school is ready for filming. If you are going to stop by, please remember this is a functioning school, so be careful and respectful. My page on guidelines goes into more detail, but the best plan is to visit the school on a weekend.
I hope you enjoyed my look at American Housewife. I really hope you’ll take the time to check out the show!
If you have any question or comments about the show or the locations, please share with me! There is a comment section below.