×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

John Iacovelli on James Yarnell

ADG Awards 2012: Designers on Design

John Iacovelli on James Yarnell, production designer, “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars

The production design of some television shows becomes instantly iconic. Think of “Hollywood Squares” or “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” They inhabit our psyche and are forever a part of the visual history of the small screen.

James Yarnell has created such icons with his production designs for “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars,” both nominated by the Art Directors Guild for our annual award for Excellence in Production Design. I was afforded a backstage tour of these shows last year in their massive adjoining soundstages at CBS Television City in Los Angeles.

What I admire about both shows is they have large-scale sets designed for the intimacy of the TV screen.

“Idol” has a future-forward look. It proclaims, “This is success, this is triumph!” Eschewing the curtains and backstage Broadway look of earlier talent shows like “Star Search,” the set of “Idol” instead evokes the pageantry of a coliseum and the explosive technology of a rock concert. This is where stars are born.

On the flipside, walking from one stage to another I was impressed by the sense of Hollywood glamour and grandeur in the gold and red palette of “Dancing With the Stars.” As a viewer, you feel as if you have been invited to the Governors Ball after an awards ceremony. This is where stars are reborn.

John Iacovelli’s credits include “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “Los Americans” and “Lincoln Heights.”

ADG AWARDS 2012
Tightening the definition
Designers on design
Production designers and art directors comment on the ADG-nominated work of their peers
John Muto on Dante Ferretti | Greg Grande on Jefferson Sage | Norm Newberry on Stuart Craig | John Sabato on Patti Podesta | Ken Averill on Christopher Glass | John Shaffner on Steve Bass | Dave Blass on Mark Worthington | John Iacovelli on James Yarnell

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Pom Klementieff poses at the launch

    Marvel Cinematic Universe Star Pom Klementieff Talks Disney-Fox Merger, X-Men Dreams

    Pom Klementieff may have entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” followed by appearances in the last two “Avengers” movies, but that wasn’t her original superhero plan. “My dream was to be in X-Men,” she told Variety on Thursday at the Chanel dinner for its new fragrance Gabrielle [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Be Honored at amfAR Gala Los Angeles

    Gwyneth Paltrow and art dealer Larry Gagosian are set to be honored at the 2019 amfAR Gala Los Angeles. The American Foundation for AIDS Research announced that the two honorees will receive the Award of Courage for their commitment in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as for their other humanitarian efforts. Christina [...]

  • David Mandel Sam Richardson

    'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Veep,' 'When They See Us' Writers Honored at Emmy Nominees Reception

    Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”), David Mandel (“Veep”) and Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were among those honored at the Television Academy’s Emmy nominees writers reception on Tuesday night in North Hollywood. There, ceremony hosts, “Escape at Dannemora” star Eric Lange and “Veep’s” Sam Richardson, kept the show moving by tossing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content