‘Jesse Watters Primetime’ heads into the ‘ring’ with dramatic graphics

Fox’s latest show, “Jesse Watters Primetime” debuted Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, with a look stocked with dramatic designs that make it feel more like an extreme sports show’s center ring. 

The debut episode featured a cold open with a collage of clips of car wrecks and run-ins with animals, explosions, fires, people beating each other up (including someone in a bunny costume) and other outrageous and often viral videos.

“Jesse Watters” is produced from Studio M (originally known as Studio F) at Fox headquarters in New York. 

The Studio M LED ‘video chandelier’ was lowered almost completely to the floor of the space, although the circular LED floor tiles were used to complement the circular look with a bold red ring and matrix background.

Notably, it originated from the first level of the space with the so-called “video chandelier” lowered almost completely to the ground. 

Installed when the studio opened in 2016, the chandelier is a 14-foot wide ring of LED outfitted with a heavy-duty lift system that allows it to move up and down. 

It makes regular appearances in the up position during “Fox & Friends,” which is produced from the mezzanine level and has also shown up behind Harris Faulkner as well in other programming. 

However, this is one of the first extended uses of the chandelier being positioned this low — essentially creating a large circular video wall in the middle of the studio floor. 

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Watters’ desk was positioned toward the same side of the studio “Fox & Friends” uses, but on the first floor, so he could use the chandelier as a primary background. 

The desk and framing was done in such a way to take advantage of the curve to create a dramatic angle on his primary shot, though that angle ended up looking somewhat odd when in-studio guests joined him and a graphic was positioned between them.

For his opening “Watters’ Word” segment, Fox opted to insert OTS-style graphics over the camera feed, rather than show them on the video chandelier itself (the chandelier has a lower pixel pitch than most of the other LED in the space, so it’s likely clarity would have been an issue).

In this shot, Jesse Watters’ hand is partially hidden by the ‘Future is bright’ graphic shown camera left. The graphic is not being fed to the LED video chandelier behind Watters, but rather inserted over his camera feed. The three spotlights along the bottom are also part of the insert graphic. 

In addition to the graphics, which were designed with a slight curve to appear they were on the chandelier, miniature 3D spotlights were also inserted along the bottom left of the screen “pointing” at the graphics.

The effect broke down when Watters’ hand gestures veered two far camera left and his hand “disappeared” behind the graphic, making it clear the image was an overlay.

Meanwhile, an alternative one shot of Watters used the studio’s largest, slightly curved LED video wall that sported a stylized cityscape and an animated show logo banner.

The video chandelier was also featured in bump shots as well as when returning from a break and Watters moved to stand in front of the larger video wall, which changed to feature OTS-style graphics inside a simulated trusswork “frame.”

That trusswork element appeared throughout the show, including along the top of the generic background on the video wall, around the top of the chandelier and in the show’s open, which features the show’s title in large sliver letters that have a convex effect applied to them.

Behind the title is a circle of trusswork and the logo itself is illuminated by spotlights similar to ones used in the opening block’s OTS and also reminiscent of the Fox searchlight element (although 20th Century Fox, the film studio that originated that element, is now known as “20th Century Studios” and is owned by Disney, the searchlight motif is still visible in the Fox cable channel’s logo).

Other elements in the open include large patterned arrow elements that radiate outward from the logo at the center of the “ring.”

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During a viewer feedback segment, the show showcased texts on what appears to be a simulation of the pre-2013 look iPhones sported before iOS 7 was introduced.

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