These Miniature TV Show Sets Are Awesome
A young Charles Brogdon could barely contain his excitement in 1988 when he scored tickets to the game show Super Password. Upon arriving, he was so taken by how different things looked in real life that he barely paid attention to the on-screen action. Photography wasn’t allowed, so he decided to recreate the entire set from memory when he got home, in miniature. It soon developed into a lifelong hobby.
Now in his 30s, Brogdon runs a gym in Atlanta but spends much of his spare time constructing the sets, which take from two weeks to a month to complete. He builds them primarily with Lego bricks, then adds paint, plastic, wood, metal, fabric, wire, Elmer’s glue and particle board. Thus far, he has produced dozens of replicas of classic shows, including The Golden Girls, Roseanne and Seinfeld. He also made the set of Fox News.
“If I like the set, I’ll build it. If the set is a mess or isn’t pleasing to my eye, I won’t build it,” he says. “It helps if I like the show, but that’s not always the case. I built the Friends set and have never seen a full episode.”
Brogdon, who has no formal background in set design or modeling, says his favorite project is a tie between Cheers and The Brady Bunch. He’s proud of the Cheers replica because it’s almost 100 percent true to the original, but he also loves the elegant design of The Brady Bunch set. “The stairs alone are iconic!” he says.
The advent of reality television and the increasing popularity of single-camera setups, which are less reliant on sound stages, means his options are becoming limited. For future projects, he’s considering cult films.
“I’d like to do the Goonies pirate ship set that was on a sound stage at Warner Bros.,” he says. “Part of the fun of building sets for me is having people recognize them. I like showing people something familiar that they grew up with but in a totally new and different medium.”
Here are some of his greatest hits: