‘La Mesa Caliente’ uses modular set walls to make studio it shares its own

“La Mesa Caliente” debuted in early March 2022 on Telemundo from a bold and bright set that combines multiple textures, patterns and surfaces.

The Spanish language show, whose title translates to “The Hot Table,” a name that’s a reference to the large tables often used on similar shows such as “The View” to seat a panel of co-hosts debating the “hot topics” of the day.

“La Mesa Caliente” is produced out of Telemundo Center in Miami and shares Studio G with Telemundo Deportes. The studio is the normal home of “Rumbo al Mundial” and general sports coverage across the network.

Set Design

La Mesa Caliente

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The show’s scenic walls are modular and cover the existing set while also making use of the existing LED video walls thanks to openings in the new scenery, notes designer Cris Mercado.

Creating that flexibility means that much of the walls are mounted on risers engineered by the Telemundo Scenic Fabrication Shop, which built the entire set that contains hidden casters to make set changeouts easier.

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Telemundo has been using this strategy of producing multiple shows from the same production space using modular pieces for programming such as “El Colador,” which is produced out of the studio of “Hoy Dia.”

Hosts enter Studio G through a narrow double door and take a seat around a glass-topped desk with a dramatic metallic and internally lit base seemingly created from two separate sculptural elements.

“La Mesa Caliente” uses a logo that features two speech bubbles, much like the shapes used for CBS’s “The Talk,” backed with a series of concentric circles and ring segments, a look that’s been used on “The View.”

The color scheme appears to draw inspiration from the “caliente” part of the show’s name, with bold reds, magenta and orange set against subtly 3D white backgrounds.

Many video wall and graphics package elements also include a 45-degree angle element in a corner with multiple narrow, 3D white segments accented with thin blue and red angled lines.

Those linear elements are also featured prominently on the set via a wall of alternating vertical wood tone and backlit slats and horizontal wood-toned slats with a backlit panel camera right of the video wall behind the primary table.

Most of the home base wall is then wrapped with two rectangular light boxes that serve as a header and column-like element.

Two additional venues are also available, including a sofa and armchair setup camera left that’s backed with a white wall created using angled boxes with curved corners. Strategically placed integrated lighting gives the installation, which also features a surround for a smaller video panel array, a sense of texture and depth.

An additional stack of red slats is on the left side of this area, which features a narrow white wall with a neatly stacked array of sculptural boxes with rounded corners.

This texture is also used on the camera right wall, which features a 2×2 video panel “window” surrounded with a credenza and shelving unit that combines the horizontal slats, open display shelving with bold red backing and other decorative items on the floor and riser.

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Between each of these more solid scenic walls are backlit panels fronted with a dark, diamond-shaped overlay along with decorative plants and accessories. Two of these segments feature wood shelves for displaying items mounted on the diamond elements, while one features a decorative lighting fixture.

These walls mostly appear as shoot off elements from various portions of the set.

Both the desk and seating area can be configured in a variety of ways, often accompanying all four co-hosts or one or more guests. 

When a duo of guests appears at the main table, they can be shown in a two shot that places the sofa area’s video panel neatly between them.

Project Credits

Scenic Design – Cris Mercado Design
Fabricated – Telemundo Scenic Fabrication Shop
Lighting – Karpe Diem
LED Lighting in Set – AVL Channel
LED – Planar

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