I do think a recurring theme is it all being very oversized. On the last image you posted, the lower thirds almost extend to halfway up the screen, rather than... well... the lower third.
I do think you need to take in some consideration as to what will be on those lower thirds as well, on all your examples you've included a section for coming up, more so with the initial layouts its part of the overall design, so looks as though it would be a constant graphic, otherwise it would look odd when taken away.
With the latest layout, it's better in that it doesn't take up its own space, but if was to be taken off-screen then it leaves the rest falling rather short and not taking advantage of the full width, especially if the text would be squashed if it was any longer.
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