Networks kickoff election night coverage
Election Day 2022 arrived with a flurry of activity — but things started heating up once poll closing times crept up. Here’s a roundup of how broadcasters kicked off their coverage of the big night.
The cable networks started the crux of their coverage earlier in the evening, having already covered the election heavily throughout the day.
As Rachel Maddow read an extended open the network cut to a variety of pre-produced walk and wander floating video on video shots from around the studio, showcasing a variety of graphics on video walls, columns and movable panels.
The network’s graphics remained similar to 2020 and 2021, with a dark hanger-style look that combines the look of billboards and oversized lettering inserted into virtual environments. The illuminated frames and shifting focus effects also returned.
MSNBC once again leveraged the green screen studio that sits next to the main part of Studio 3A to showcase results using a combination of virtual set extensions and virtual realtime 3D environments. This setup was first used during the 2021 election. More coverage on that to come.
CNN’s coverage originated from both New York and Washington, D.C. and started at 4 p.m. eastern with a dramatic pre-produced open.
Later hours started with extended sequences that introduced key races and talent who would be reporting on various aspects of the night — ranging from exit polling to governor races.
CNN largely stuck to the same the look in feel it has in the past, a blend of 3D images of the Capitol and virtual girders along with red, white and blue ribbons and diagonal elements.
Fox’s conservative commentary channel kicked off coverage with an extended open that almost had the feel of a promo for the network itself and included sound bites of its own personalities backing up the points made in the open.
Fox kept much of its Democracy 2020 look, though some on-screen graphics were flatter, eliminating the monochromatic 3D elements and dimensional typography in favor of cleaner looks.
Coverage spanned both the main studio downstairs and the second floor newsroom and studio and made use of video walls and panels in both areas to showcase key data and race information.
On broadcast, the big three networks offered up special editions of their normal evening newscasts, each one using the same setups and looks that debuted Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.
‘ABC World News Tonight’
‘CBS Evening News’
‘NBC Nightly News’
Primetime network coverage
ABC went live at 7 p.m. eastern, one hour ahead of NBC and ABC, meaning that it rolled right from “World News Tonight” to its network-wide coverage in the eastern and central time zones.
The network started with anchor David Muir on-camera announcing some key results before going to an extended open using the higher-register announcer it often uses for special coverage.
Also present were the on-screen typography highlighting key parts of the script, but notably this was not displayed in the distinctive font the network has used in the past.
CBS originated its coverage from the same Times Square space it did in 2020 but introduced a new graphics package.
NewscastStudio will have more coverage of the look and accompanying augmented reality elements the network used in a separate piece, but the general theme of the redesign was based on the deconstructed eye look the network has been rolling out across all of its divisions since 2020 (back then, it hadn’t worked its way to the news division yet).
Much of the look focuses on red, white and blue concentric rings with subtle 3D effects, but the extended open used Nov. 8 included vertical versions of the look as wipes as well as horizontal bars.
NBC used an extended open that was pre-produced and featured much of the same graphical elements seen in 2020.
The network brought in realtime virtual environments to showcase results and seat status by turning the flat video wall camera left of the glass “Today” icon sculpture as a portal of sorts into the same 3D world MSNBC used. Again, look for more coverage of that later on NewscastStudio.
NBC News Now aired exclusive coverage from Studio 4E before switching to a simulcast of the network feed with periodic streaming-only updates.
Hallie Jackson and Tom Llamas anchored this coverage and the broadcast featured an extended pre-produced open as well as extended on-camera intros by each anchor using the video walls to showcase key graphics.
When not at the small polygonal anchor desk that’s essentially a baby version of the MSNBC one downstairs, the shots of Jackson and Llamas were being lit by what appeared to be a camera-mounted fixture, which sometimes created a flashlight-like look.
Correction: An earlier version of this story did not include CNN’s 4 p.m. open. This story has been updated to include it.