Syfy's Newest Competition Series 'Hot Set' Debuts Tuesday, September 18 at 10PM

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

August 27th, 2012

via press release:



A Select Group of Hollywood’s Most Talented Production Designers Joins Host Ben Mankiewicz for a Visually Stunning Six-Episode Season of Movie Set Design Competition

Each Week, Award Winning Judges Curt Beech, Lilly Kilvert and Barry Robison Select Best Set Design

New York, NY – August 27, 2012 – From the producers of Syfy’s top-rated Face Off comes a visually stunning new competition series Hot Set, premiering Tuesday, September 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, immediately following an all-new episode of Face Off. Each week, two Hollywood production designers and their teams will compete in an extreme design challenge to create original movie sets inspired by the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres.  Each episode is one complete competition, with new production designers introduced each week. The episode’s winning designer will be the one who creates the ultimate movie set that is able to transport the viewer into an immersive world based on creativity, technique and overall presentation.

A member of an American movie family dynasty, radio and television personality Ben Mankiewicz hosts the series.  Ben’s grandfather, Herman Mankiewicz, is an Oscar-winning screenwriter for Citizen Kane and his great uncle, Joseph Mankiewicz, is an Oscar-Winning writer and director for All About Eve and A Letter to Three Wives.

The contestants will reveal their completed sets and edited film scenes on the Hot Set sound stage to a panel of judges who are leaders in feature film production design -- three-time Art Director’s Guild Award nominee Curt Beech (The Coup, The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez); two-time Oscar nominee Lilly Kilvert (The Last Samurai, Legends of the Fall); and Art Director’s Guild Award nominee Barry Robison (X- Men Origins, Wedding Crashers, The Chronicles of Narnia).
The production designers will each have two team members to help them execute the daunting challenges. In the premiere episode, production designers Abra and Craig have just three days and a budget of $15,000 to conceive and build a film-quality world -- a devastated alien landscape to be explored by a crash-landed astronaut. The designers draw support from their skilled team of carpenters and scenic painters, the expansive Hot Set supply room, and many of the prop and set dressing houses located in Hollywood.  When time is up, the production designers have 30 minutes to shoot a scene on their original set.  In the second episode airing September 25, designers Carl Dove and Kim Tolman must build a film-ready throne room for a gorgeous but brutal alien queen.  In the end, one production designer is determined to have that week’s Hot Set and leaves with a $10,000 prize.

To meet the participants, visit Photography and bios are also available at Following are the Hot Set contestants:

• Greg Arnowitz, 42: Bayonne, New Jersey; resides in Los Angeles, CA

• Carlos Osorio, 40: Garzon, Columbia; resides in Los Angeles, CA

•Abra Brayman, 38: San Francisco, CA; resides in Los Angeles, CA


•Craig Pavilionis, 48: Ashland, Oregon; resides in Los Angeles, CA

•Charlotte Newman, 36: Auckland, New Zealand

•Roger Ambrose, 56: San Gabriel, CA and San Diego, CA; resides in Orange, CA

•Thomas Brown, 58: Atlanta, Georgia; resides in Van Nuys, CA

•Brandy Alexander, 56: New York, NY; resides in Beverly Hills, CA

•Carol Clements, 61: Los Angeles, CA; resides in Glendale, CA

•Tudor Boloni, 36: Queens, New York; resides in Los Angeles, CA

  • USAmerica1st

    A competition “to create original movie sets inspired by the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres”? How about creating a decent, long-running scifi show with those sets when the competition is over!

  • cimmer

    How about a competition to come up with a really interesting scifi series? There’s a ton of fanfic writers out there who everyday come up with better stories (not always I’ll admit but quite often lol) than the stuff I see on Syfy.

  • Holly

    This and Face-Off really play into the sci-fi/fantasy brand of the network. I would prefer this sort of thing to all the ghost hunter/paranormal reality shows.

  • Jason50

    @Holly- They’re really milking the ghost/paranormal reality shows for all it’s worth. Must be cheap to make. Now they have stuff like Paranormal Witness and School Spirit where they just tell stories, well must be even cheaper to make.

    @Cimmer- Good idea and the winner should get their show made into a series. It would guarantee at least one scripted new series from Syfy a year.

  • Sandpiper

    Hot Set is a Hot mess. I love Face Off it is one of my favorite reality shows. But Hot Set is totally boring and so far all the contestants have all seem a little to big for their own britches. Please I would rather watch an old movie rerun. Please tell me this show has canceled!

  • Renzo

    This last episode of hot set kills me they ask to make a super vilan set and the guy nail it yet a simple not impressive set won it just plain boring show.

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