TV studios today

On the set of Access Hollywood

On the set of Access Hollywood

We did a lot of television these past few weeks, and I’m struck by the differences in studios and the effects on the interviews. The Access Hollywood studio in Burbank was full of bustling people: producers, hosts, camera operators, gaffers, powder-puffers, etc. The atmosphere was lively, jokey, fun, and efficient. Among the crew, there were winks, high-fives, and laughs, though within a sense of electric urgency: let’s get this done, but have a good time doing it.

On the set of Access Hollywood with hosts Kit Hoover and Billy Bush.

On the set of Access Hollywood with hosts Kit Hoover and Billy Bush.

KCAL's human-free newscast studio.

KCAL's human-free newscast studio.

Contrast that with KCAL’s Studio City set at KCBS. The huge set was dark and completely empty of humans, except for the two hosts. Acres of polished cement were trod only by electronic cameras, which glided silently, each trailing a thick tail of bound cords. The atmosphere was…dead. The interview was humdrum. Uninspired. Perhaps there was a party going on in the control room, I don’t know.

NBC Nonstop L.A. with Colleen Williams

NBC Nonstop L.A. with Colleen Williams

Same went for the KNBC Studio. Robotic cameras clicked and whirred in the darkness, rolling across the floor, rising, lowering, like ghost-spys. Their thick yellow umbilicals were, presumably, coiled by flesh-and-blood hands. Lack of human warmth leads to stilted talk, at least with a performer used to working in front of a live audience. The interview with Colleen Williams was interesting and informative, but dry.

Electric Playground's adorable Miri Jedeikin interviews Bob Arno in the street

Electric Playground's adorable Miri Jedeikin interviews Bob Arno in the street

Understandably different were the streetside interviews. Electric Playground’s adorable Miri Jedeikin obviously had a blast interviewing Bob in the heart of Hollywood, and it shows in the finished product.

The Examiner‘s Danielle Turchiano and KABC-TV’s Ric Romero did lively sidewalk interviews in which Bob was able to demonstrate on passersby—always fun and successful.

In two trips to New York City, Bob appeared twice on Fox & Friends and once on The Today Show (which I can’t find online).

Yep, we’ve been busy.

© Copyright 2008-2011 Bambi Vincent. All rights reserved.

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  • January 2, 2012


    Since all late news shows seem to be identical, with identical anchors and staff, this was fascinating. Different methods, different attitudes, different set ups. We would never have guessed it.

  • January 7, 2012


    Production values don’t seem much better. We’ve been unsuccessful in seeing any of the clips linked in. One just sat there doing nothing and the other served up the wrong clip with no link to the right one.

  • January 8, 2012


    I didn’t know there were robotic cameras in studios nowadays! How interesting.

  • January 10, 2012

    Bambi Vincent

    All the links should work now, Rick. I had to delete the one for Access Hollywood, which seems to have expired. But as of now, the rest work. Thanks for the alert!

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