CNBC promos launch of ‘Last Call’

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CNBC is busy promoting its upcoming 7 p.m. business program “Last Call.”

The show, which is set for a March 8, 2023, debut, is taking over the timeslot formerly occupied by “The News with Shepard Smith” that was canceled in late 2022 after a two-year run.

As part of CNBC’s overall strategy of focusing more on business news, the program will explore the connection between the markets, culture and policy.

Brian Sullivan, who will anchor the new show, is prominently featured in the promo, which features interview-style shots of him in Studio B, which is home to a set that was built specifically for Smith’s show.

The studio features “Last Call” branded graphics that use a grid-like motif in blue, gold, white and black. While the show’s permanent home has not been officially announced by the network, Studio B appears to be the primary home for the new program. 

These colors are used heavily in the on-screen animations used in the promo, which center around a flat design with both solid and outline text in a bold, clean sans serif along with small squares, outlined elements and some smaller micro applications of lines, text and squares. 

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Many other CNBC shows use Gotham for their logotypes, though the flatter look that appears in both the promo on on-set video walls appears to be a bit of a different look than the glassier look the network uses during most of the day.

Sullivan’s shots in the promo feature both a traditionally framed interview shot along with wider cutaways. He is consistently shown speaking directly to the primary camera, with both a floor camera and jib visible behind him. The wide shots showcase more of the space, including the camera he’s speaking to. 

The promo also includes brief clips of him at the anchor desk and standing, delivering a report as the camera starts to circle around him. 

These shots show the on-set video walls showcasing the same square grid look seen earlier and elements from the promo’s graphics. Notably, “The News” used a boxy look, though it was more 3D and used white and blue as its primary colors.

It appears CNBC has mostly used the LED video panels and lighting cues to update the Studio B set, as opposed to making any major structural changes. Soft seating has also been added in one corner of the set, allowing studio interviews with Sullivan. 

Much of the set’s original design was centered around the angle the hands of the clock form at 7 p.m. along with long, horizontal LED ribbons with gaps between them that were positioned to serve as both background elements and a nod to the network’s iconic ticker.

This isn’t the first show in the NBCUniversal family to use the name “Last Call” — it was previously a late night talk show hosted by Carson Daly that aired from 2002 to 2019. In that sense, the name was likely meant more as a reference to the “last call” at a bar — given the late-night timeslot.

In the CNBC show’s case, the term could be is likely in reference to a “call option” or “call on shares,” both terms used in the stock market and investment banking. 

It does not appear that the phrase “last call,” however, is commonly used in the financial industry. 

The “Last” element in the name might seem to suggest the show is, like Daly’s show, a late-night option, despite the show airing at 7 p.m. eastern.

While CNBC does not go off the air at 8 p.m. eastern, as of 2023 it transitions to its primetime schedule of airing repeats of pre-taped shows such as “Shark Tank” and “American Greed,” so in that context the word “last” in the title makes sense.

The CNBC business day schedule features numerous shows with references to Wall Street — ranging from “Squawk Box,” “The Exchange,” “Power Lunch, “Street Signs” and “Closing Bell.”

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