‘Katie Phang’ leverages an already repurposed set with unique graphics to create standout look
Phang, who is an attorney and NBC contributor based in Miami, hosts the show from Studio G in the Telemundo Center in Beacon Lakes, Florida, the same space used by both Telemundo Deportes and the network’s daytime talker “La Mesa Caliente.”
“La Mesa Caliente” and “Phang” both make use of additional scenic elements added to the space in 2022 originally for “La Mesa” that cover much of the sport set’s walls while still taking advantage of the video wall technology thanks to cutouts in the hard scenic.
“Phang” makes use of much of the same furniture and other elements brought in for “La Mesa” while also taking advantage of the studio’s multiple LED video walls and panels to insert its own unique graphics.
It also leverages the color-changing technology on the set to turn elements blue and orange to match its graphics package.
The show introduces its own, dedicated circular desk with a textural wood-toned base with patterns that form the letter “K.”
Phang stands at the desk for select segments, but it is also used as a foreground element for push-ins and bumps.
The show’s graphics use a variety of unique geometric elements and textures to create distinct look that uses the illusion of structure to enhance the storytelling and set.
Its primary logo uses a distinct typeface that uses sharp angles and has a distinct “E,” “P” and “H” that feature strokes that don’t fully connect to the rest of the letterform. The “A”s have also been created using a dramatic pyramid-style shape with a dot in the middle instead of the crossbar while the “G” drops the normal horizontal stroke and the the “W” has the look of two slightly overlapping “V”s that are, like the “A”s, distinctly angled.
A wipe element features a white background with marble texture and the show name occupying almost the entire width of the screen that’s typically paired with a multifaceted vertical blind wipe effect with varying widths.
The graphics also feature a wood-slated version of the a “K,” similar in layout to the one found in the desk, that the viewport zooms through revealing an opening with a view of the Miami skyline and, after a diagonal wipe effect inside of this, tease graphics for upcoming stories with deep blue boxed headlines set in a light orange-pink shade.
After the tease headlines, the view swings to the side and back revealing a rose gold square mobile-like element suspended in the virtual space that features key art in the center after rotating through some stock imagery. The mobile view is also used before breaks later in the show, when story imagery is shown in a large square in the center.
The 3D space also includes white and deep blue walls with diagonal rose gold dividers that mirrors the pattern in an area rug used on set, with the metallic shade also used around the opening beyond.
Another element the show frequently uses is an array of interconnecting squares and rectangles that form openings for either a skyline view or topical graphics, which are often shown on the studio’s video walls. In some ways, the structural nature of this look serves as a quasi-virtual set extension.
Both the framework and the skyline are tinted in shades of blue and orange, while the lower thirds, which leverage MSNBC’s standard look, are a deep blue-black and white.
Phang moves around the studio throughout the show, though most of the shots are framed against the primary seamless video wall and textural white wall to the left of this. The show makes generous use of wide, sweeping shots with fast moves.
This area uses the “La Mesa” blue sofa for in-studio guests — while also being strategically positioned to hide the speech bubble element of the illuminated frame around the inset LED panel in the wall that is more prominently used during the talker.
The wall camera right of the primary video wall, which features a credenza-style element and additional video wall is used less frequently and, except in wide bump shots, typically avoids showing the bold red backing in the open display shelving.
The first edition of of “Phang” also had a unique setup from a production standpoint, according to NBC News Special Projects Director Adam Mancini, who noted the show’s studio was in Miami, used a control room in Washington, D.C. but was directed and produced out of New York.
“Phang” isn’t the first show on MSNBC to originate from Telemundo Center.
Jose Diaz-Balart, who previously anchored the network’s signature evening newscast, also anchors “Jose Diaz-Balart Reports” from the network’s primary news set with virtual set extension graphics and an NBC peacock-themed desk to create a similar look and feel as the other “MSNBC Reports” hours.
The MSNBC version of “The Katie Phang Show” airs at 7 a.m. eastern on MSNBC Saturday and Sunday. Phang also hosts a Peacock show on MSNBC’s channel Thursdays and Fridays.