First reactions to the new Studio 1A

NBC’s “Today” gave viewers a sneak peak of the new Studio 1A — a look that Executive Producer Don Nash calls “new hipster New York City apartment.”

From the photos released so far, it appears the new set maintains the basic layout that’s been used since the studio debuted in 1994, with home base situated in the windowed corner of the room.

The vertical video panel that was added in the most recent renovation has been retained, with a curved video header overhead.

This header mimics the video walls added in August 2012 to the outer façade of the building and will give the show flexible branding options for this area.

New to the anchor desk area is a round turntable, that will give the show added flexibility for this zone.

This part of the studio gets heavy use not only in the opening segments of the show, but also, at least in the most recent version of Studio 1A, during the third and fourth hours of the show, when hosts would often gather in the area for more casual setups, including a high top table or perching on the credenza topped with blue cushions.

The anchor desk is a yet-to-be-seen element of the design and reportedly has not arrived at the studio yet and will be installed over the weekend in time for Monday’s debut.

Overall the new set is significantly warmer than the previous design, which was compared to a spa by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. Others called it clinical.


Golds, oranges and yellows abound, which seems to allude to the theme of the new single toned iteration of logo and so-called “Orange Room” (ironically, the images released of the Orange Room make it appear to be not all that orange).

The new set also make liberal use of texture and rich fabrics. The main studio floor is now surfaced in a light toned zig-zag parquet-like pattern, while area rugs accent the sofa area and one-on-one interview set.

The sofa area now features a bowed rust colored couch that, according to the show, will allow more people to sit on it. A pop up video panel can be raised and lowered behind the couch, which is a good addition to this area — making it easier to insert topical graphics behind guests and anchors.

Flanking the wall are faux window panels with dark frames that stand in front of the studio’s corner, which has been covered in backlit vertical slats in a light tone. Since the sofa is set at a 45 degree angle to the corner, the effect is an interesting sense of depth and dimension in this area.

The interview area has a similar faux window panel as the sofa set that is flanked by rippled gold walls and a dimensional “Today” sunrise emblem. Blue chairs and small side tables complete the look.

What do you think of the new Studio 1A, at least from what you’ve seen here? Tell us in the comments below.

Check back Monday for complete coverage of the set’s debut plus additional commentary on how the set is used.