"I do my whole part of the show from one little room," says the TV host of her makeshift studio at home while social distancing

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 16, 2020 12:53 PM
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Rachel Nichols is perfecting the art of the at-home TV studio!

In an exclusive tour for PeopleTV, the sports journalist, 46, takes fans behind-the-scenes of how she films her ESPN show The Jump while social distancing.

Like many newscasters during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Nichols had to get creative on continuing production as a one-woman show away from the Los Angeles studio.

"I do my whole part of the show from one little room," says Nichols in the clip, showing off the space in her Pacific Palisades home.

The on-air personality explains the key differences between her process at home versus what she's accustomed to at the office — including her current "wardrobe couch" situation as opposed to an enviable wardrobe closet. Nichols shows off the piles of outfits ready for their close-up, stacked on a nearby couch.

As for doing her own makeup, Nichols admits she struggled a bit and needed a little long-distance assistance to get camera-ready.

"I grew up liking sports; I grew up playing soccer — I don't know anything about lipstick," she says. "Our incredible makeup artist on the show, Anya, had to actually walk me through how to use all of this stuff on FaceTime, which was hysterical."

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When it comes time for the broadcast, Nichols communicates with directors and producers virtually, and she positions herself in front of a large TV with The Jump's set pieces on the screen to simulate her in-studio backdrop.

Nichols — who is also mom to 9-year-old twin daughters, who she shares with husband Max Nichols — reveals that she also needs a little boosting for her seating, given her "too short" height.

"Why is there a pillow on top of my chair?" she says. "Because I'm too short for the TV, and when I just sit on the chair without the pillow, it looks like I'm, like, at the munchkin table."

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For her makeshift recording space, Nichols uses her laptop as a teleprompter, which she controls from a mobile device. "Hopefully altogether the illusion works, I don't know," she says of the final product of the basketball news show.

"I miss the people I work with so much," says Nichols, who has felt the isolation for at least a few weeks now: on Instagram last month, the host wrote, "Really can’t wait to be on a set with actual other people on it again."

The Jump airs weekdays at 3 p.m. EST on ESPN.

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