Like sands through the hourglass, ‘NBC News Daily’ continues ‘Day’-driven motif
Many viewers expecting to see “Days of Our Lives” Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, still got to see a lot of “days” references.
That’s because five of the days of all of our lives became the inspiration for “NBC News Daily,” the network’s new midday offering that replaced the long-running soap opera the same day.
Back in early August 2022, the network made the bold and surprising move of moving “Days” to Peacock, its streaming platform, replacing it with a then yet-to-be-launched show from the news division.
The show officially launched Sept. 12 with one hour on NBC followed by two additional hours of NBC News Now, the network’s news streaming platform that is available on Peacock as well as a standalone free service.
As previously reported, there were strong indicators that the show would originate from one side of Studio 3A, in roughly the same space previously designated as Studio 3C and now sometimes referred to as Studio 3AW.
The set was originally opened back in 2017 as the home of “NBC Nightly News,” which had been using Studio 3B. The show moved off the set for much of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returning to it in November 2020 after some cosmetic updates, including removing much of the wood in favor of metallic gray surfaces.
“Nightly” moved to Studio 1A in 2021. Since then and over the years, shows ranging from MSNBC’s “Ayman” and NBC’s “Early Today” have used the space — and now “Daily” has become the latest to call it home.
“Daily” got a bright and fresh graphics palette that includes white backgrounds and colors inspired by the NBC peacock feathers and displaying days of the week on-screen prominently.
The open, for example, displays the five weekdays on a series of 3D cards ranging from yellow to orange to red to violet to blue with each day of the week’s full name spelled out what would likely be considered the front of each as well as the narrow side. These cards then slide into a timeline-like layout before the current day of the week appears in large black letters on-screen.
A vertical stack of mostly one-letter day of the week abbreviations runs down the left side of the screen (the network uses “TH” for Thursday to distinguish it from “Tuesday”), with a red arrow pointing to the current one, while a large blue rectangle spells out the whole date, including adding an underscore to the end of the day of the week, which is a common element found on NBC News Now graphics.
Below this are headlines of four stories that are teased in that same order using fullscreen video with a larger iteration of the headline in white in the lower left corner and red hashmarks running along the bottom of the screen. In keeping with the card-style layout first found near the top of the open, the next story tease slides over the previous one.
Headlines in the teases also use the hanging underscore.
There is then a brief animation showcasing the current day of the week along with color colored boxes, linear accents and microtext.
The home base for the show is the so-called “news wall” under the color-changing peacock ceiling installation dominated by a seamless video wall with a new anchor desk that’s roughly in the shape of a guitar pick (though that could also be read as a peacock feather). It features silver structural elements with backlit panels and a front with integrated peacock and two segments that appear to cross over each other before ending.
They actually sit at a new desk (instead of it serving as a scenic element in the background as NBC has been a fan of lately) in front of a stylized cityscape that’s been edited to have NBC News logos and the current day of the week plastered to the sides of buildings. Accent lines have also been added and a large square-ish simulated billboard on the side of a building slightly off center in the two shot features a standout version of the show logo.
In wider views, larger animated iterations of the current day of the week with a bright edge of a glassy element are on either side of the video wall closer to the floor, though parts of these do also appear in the standard two-shot and some one-shots.
Anchors move around the studio for segments, including standing in front of the video tower that stretches nearly two levels high and typically with a push-in shot that starts wide enough to see the parked robotic camera pointed at the anchor desk. This shot tends to also showcase imagery on the “jigsaw” LED panels camera left of the tower as well.
Standups can also be done on the opposite side of the space, into what was known as the “vista” video wall alcove, an area that’s wrapped on three sides with seamless LED divided by narrow, color-changing columns.
These graphics typically use white and blue graphics inspired by the show’s open and key art, including oversized repeating text of the days of the week in multiple sizes and color schemes with the center segment reserved for topical imagery, rather than filling all three ways with it like “Nightly” frequently did.
For insert graphics, “Daily” uses the NBC News Now look with open-source font Roboto and the twirling NBC peacock bug animation that, instead of showing the “Now” logo, says “Daily” underneath. The animation also allows one just reading “NBC News” to appear during the first hour on the NBC feed.
Roboto is used for nearly all of NBC News Now’s insert graphics, so it makes sense that the show would head in that direction since both hours air there (MSNBC also used Roboto extensively). Founders Grotesk, a typeface used on NBCNews.com and other network websites plus Now show “Hallie Jackson Now” is also mixed in, especially in the opens and video wall graphics.
The first hour of “Daily” uses distinct NBC peacock themed animated wipes with a repeating list of the days of the week.
However, the later hour switches to one that is more focused on the single-letter abbreviation for the current day of the week.
The second hour also started with anchors Kate Snow and Aaron Gilchrist being shot against the tower and alcove, perhaps to give the other anchors a chance to vacate the desk.
At the bottom of both hours, there’s another set of tease headlines.
The segment starts out with the card-like elements representing days of the week, but changes the forward of the teases that follow to a two-toned blue bar running along the bottom of the screen with a headline in a white box.
The segment also uses a blue fullscreen wipe with the next headline shown in oversized text.
Other graphics used for the show include a traditional OTS template with room for topical image and headline as well as a mostly white background with faint oversized peacock outline that can loop behind fullscreen graphics and various boxed layouts.
In select views, the three-letter days of the week abbreviations are used, while the mostly one letter ones go down one side with a combination of yellow and red accents, including arrows, hashmarks and rules.
Meanwhile, on-set video wall graphics can be topical, but typically blend in at least partially with the “Daily” look, though the vista alcove can drop most of the background elements in appropriate imagery is available.
There’s also a default look with mostly white backgrounds and red peacock outlined on the jigsaw array, with some blue panels mixed in.
The color-changing wall behind this area appears to use blue as its default color. This wall and background primarily appears behind in-studio gusts.