‘Jennifer Hudson’ revamps ‘Ellen’ sets, creating an inconsistent look

The latest entry from Warner Bros. in a syndicated chat, “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” debuted Sept. 12, 2022, from the space previously occupied by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — and there were still hints of “Ellen” hanging around.

While the main areas of the set were revamped, other parts of the set were easily recognizable as holdovers from the “Ellen” era, although most received a small update.

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One of the most obvious examples of this is the massive video wall-sliding doors that Ellen DeGeneres entered through. Of course, the “Ellen” graphics and the familiar simulated checkerboard pattern (left over from when this wall was made up of segmented light boxes with a simulated stone look) are no longer displayed.

In fairness, considering what this item must have cost given its size and motorized elements, it’s no surprise the producers chose to keep it.

The space behind the sliding walls is similar to the days of “Ellen”, where it served as a performance and multi-purpose area and featured an additional large LED video wall.

Also, while the audience area was updated, it was quite easy to see that, structurally, it was very similar to the “Ellen” days.

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A big update is a large white floor segment with a “J.Hud” abbreviation etched on it. This same abbreviation is used in the bug and is also the name of Jennifer Hudson’s production company.


That said, the central part of the space has been rebuilt into a semi-circular core with a curved sofa in front. In the center is a large structural element featuring an oversized seamless LED array while to either side simulated windows are separated by paneled walls with sconces.

Furnishings are done in soft shades of beiges, grays and reds, with the sofa seeming to be an integral part of the whole. This is accompanied by a coffee table in pale wood tones with exaggerated wooden spheres as legs.

The softer tones and curves give this area a little throwback to the late 1990s and early 2000s, perhaps a nod to when Hudson rose to fame on “America Idol.”

Meanwhile, show graphics and other elements bring a bold pop of color to the space. Key art and the show’s opening use a mix of orange, purple, magenta, and gold along with sparkles and bursts of light. These are brought to set through the two large video arrays as well as built-in edge and accent lighting in vibrant colors, such as the purple vertical lines found in the base background of the home.

While “Ellen” had an abundance of succulents on her set, Jennifer Hudson’s background is more floral.

To the far right of the home base camera is a space for a piano that is wrapped in a large wall with framed prints. Large, dark, floor-to-ceiling curtains frame this part of the studio.

Guests enter from behind the central structural element, walking behind a row of floral accents to a space that leads into the heart of the whole.

Overall, the “Jennifer Hudson Show” set seems a bit disjointed. The gentle curves in the primary area are not well executed in the remnants of “Ellen”, which are boxy and structural. The piano area feels cramped and improvised – and doesn’t read well on camera.

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Although the color palette and lines of the sofa area look slightly dated, they are consistent – in the sense that they take this concept and work with it. Neon-style edge lighting adds to the effect, but the whole thing abruptly turns into a flat wall with picture rail that has little in common with the main space.

As mentioned, the large sliding video wall and audience landscape don’t help create much consistency.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros.

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