'Today' Shows Off New Set & New Strategy

On Monday, Sept. 16, NBC’s Today show will debut its new Studio1A, the first redesign for the venerable morning show’s set in seven years.

NBC News president Deborah Turness took the opportunity to make her first press appearance to preview the new set to reporters on Sept. 12, calling the redesigned studio part of a “clear, strategic plan for the Today show going forward.” She spoke of a research-led approach that will be based on three guiding principles: substance, uplift and connection.

Turness emphasized that Today is a news show, and will be focused even more on making and breaking news with exclusives like its recent interviews with embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen, kidnapped teen Hannah Anderson and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

“This is a content led strategy, and we have the right team and the best team to lead that strategy,” she said, in a veiled reference to the anchor turnover that has occurred at Today in the past two years.

A new addition to Studio1A is the Orange Room, which Carson Daly will join Today to host. The digital studio will serve as a bridge between the audience and the show, providing real-time reaction to the news and serving as a space for web-only content. The screens in the studio mean Daly can host via Skype on the days he might have to be in Los Angeles filming The Voice, he told B&C.

Orange is a theme of the new set, meant to represent the sunshine, like in Today’s trademark logo (which will be revamped to shades of orange) as well as warmth and brightness. Today will be asking viewers and affiliates to send in photos of the sunrise in their cities using #sunrise on Twitter, which will be displayed on a large HD screen above the main couch (also orange).

The anchor desk (which won’t arrive until Sunday) will be situated on a rotating turntable, to allow the hosts to face the studio or the street. Adjacent to that is an 87-in. touchscreen weather wall, where Al Roker can place weather patterns with a touch, zoom in to storm systems, and give 3D city views. When not displaying the weather, the touchscreen can be used for other things, like political polls, said executive producer Don Nash.

A one-on-one interview area and a 16-ft. by 6-ft. HD screen that can break up into six separate panels round out the major features of the new studio. Check out photos of the redesigned set below:

The Today hosts at the sofa

The one-on-one interview area

Al Roker demonstrates the weather wall touchscreen

The large HD monitors show off Today’s refreshed logo

Carson Daly in the Orange Room