Comedy Central’s hit show combines a historic shooting space with high tech production wizardry to deliver laughs on a daily basis.
Hollywood— Hollywood Center Studios is currently providing stage and production facilities for @midnight, the hit talk show/game show hybrid hosted by Chris Hardwick and produced by Funny Or Die for Comedy Central.
The show, which airs Monday throughThursday on Comedy Central, is shot before a live audience on Hollywood Center Studios’ historic Stage 2 and Stage 2A. (Stage 2 is where I Love Lucy was originally shot). More than thirty 30-minute episodes have been produced on the lot to date with 70 more planned for the show’s first season. Hollywood Center is also providing office space for production and post production staff.
Episodes are shot in afternoon sessions for broadcast later the same night. In order to accommodate the quick turnaround, a multi-camera control room adjacent to the stage was refurbished with new HD gear including a state-of-the-art Ross Video switcher that connects both to the stages and to the show’s editorial and graphics departments. That allows graphics to be added live and permits editors to cut the show in real-time. Two hours after the show is shot, an edited master is delivered directly from Hollywood Center to Comedy Central’s New York headquarters via high-speed fiber.
“Hollywood Center Studios is one of few stage facilities with the ability to deliver shows via fiber on a daily basis,” says @midnight Co-Executive Producer Jim Ziegler. “We cut as we tape, then feed it out. We don’t have time to drive to a post facility.”
Hollywood Center Studios supplies the show with a variety of other resources ranging from work space for its team of writers to dressing rooms for its stars to parking spaces for staff and guests—all immediately adjacent to the stages. “The quality of the services we receive and the cooperation we get from the studios’ technical and support staff is very high,” notes Ziegler. “They help us keep our budget in line.”
The first television series to incorporate social media into a live talk show format, @midnight has drawn rave reviews and posted strong numbers since its debut in January. The show has done especially well among the coveted young adult demographics; ranking third among late-night cable talk shows among adults 18-34 according to Nielsen. “We’re very proud to be associated with this show,” says Hollywood Center Studios Director of Television Sales Jerry Cole. “It’s cutting edge comedy. It’s also taking a cutting edge approach to production, one that allows them to deliver quality quickly and cost effectively. We believe it’s established a model a lot of shows could benefit from.”
About Hollywood Center Studios
Hollywood Center Studios has a rich and colorful history that mirrors the development of Hollywood and the growth of the entertainment industry. The studio has played host to some of the most notable productions of the past century, including such iconic television shows as I Love Lucy, The Addams Family, Jeopardy, Rockford Files and Mad TV, and classic film productions such as When Harry Met Sally and The Player. In recent years, Hollywood Center Studios has continued to grow and modernize to support its large television clientele which includes Disney, NBC, Comedy Central and MTV. Hollywood Center Studios remains a vital part of the Hollywood community and a place where entertainment history continues to be made every day.
Hollywood Center Studios is located at 1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90038. For more information, call (323) 860-0000 or visit www.HollywoodCenter.com.