I don't like that at all. It's such an odd use of the space. The audience area looks cramped and then you have all that space either side.
The View's present set is far superior.
Apparently according to Newscaststudio thats not the central audience. Its much larger than you think. Thats just a small area described as "the pit". After all its still a tv show, and they do other segments than just being sat at the table for the entire hour. So I imagine those open areas give them options to other things..
The set includes
three sets of audience risers
— one that is partially used as a work area for crew — and a “pit” area that puts select audience members closer to the action, right up against the edge of the riser.
I'm here to give you something to talk about!