The site's owner, Hertsmere Borough Council, told a public meeting on Tuesday evening (4 May) that it is looking for investors to take up a new long lease of up to 125 years on the Elstree site. However, it said that if the necessary investment could not be secured it would have to review its options.
A report carried out for the council in 2002 concluded that up to £26m in investment was required to safeguard the studios' long-term future.
But the council also insisted it would only consider bids from companies that would keep it as film and television studios. The council will retain the freehold.
The 15-acre site is one of the most famous homes of British film and television and has been used for big-name productions including The Dambusters , Get Carter , The Shining and Saving Private Ryan.
George Lucas has also used Elstree for the Indiana Jones trilogy and all six Star Wars films.
Cult TV shows such as The Saint and The Avengers and more recently Robot Wars , The Tweenies , Smack the Pony and The Vice have all been made there.
However, it has had a troubled recent history and production ceased for a decade until 1996 when the council took over.
The council handed the running of the site over to current tenant Elstree Film & Television Studios with a lease until 2007.
Elstree Film & Television Studios made an attempt in January to have its lease extended for a further 25 years but a report for the council decided its bid was 'unsustainable and lacked a clear business plan'.
Eden Lee, the council's executive director, said property consultants Atis Real Weathralls had been hired to handle a tender process for the site.
Neville Reid, head of studios and co-founder of Elstree Film and Television Studios, this week told Broadcast the council had given strong assurances that the studios would continue.
Reid, who worked for the council before setting up EF & TVS, said he could not say whether he would bid again for the longer lease.
The council owns a minority share in the limited company and holds a golden veto on any attempt on its sale.
Endemol is currently in pre-production for Big Brother 5 - due to start shooting this May - and is also booked in for series six next year. Celador's Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is booked in until June 2005.