Tired of leaving of having to leave your house to see magic shows? Don’t feel like raking through hours of stolen tricks and Zach King compilations on YouTube? Good news, your old faithful friend, the television, will once again be host some quality magic shows in the coming weeks. Both Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Champions of Magic will be returning to the small screen before the month is out.
Fool Us returns on Monday, June 25th, with an episode called Penn the Magic Dragon. No prizes for guessing who’s going to be on that show. Unless you guessed Dom Chambers, in which case, yeah, you probably deserve a prize for your weirdly specific knowledge of upcoming variety show lineups*. Appearing alongside Chambers and a certain actual mythical beast will be Matt Marcy, Andrew Evans and The Sentimentalists.
On Friday, June 29th, Masters of Illusion season 7 will premiere on The CW. There’s no info on who’ll be in this first episode aside from what you can glean from the short trailer above. I did spot Murray Sawchuck in there. Then again, he’s hard to miss.
If you’re willing to step into the realm of digital entertainment streaming, you’ll also be able to catch Derren Brown’s Miracle when it hits Netflix on June 22nd.
*Unless you actually are Dom Chambers, in which case, get out of here, Dom. Stop trying to steal our hypothetical prizes.
The premise behind “psychological illusionist” Derren Brown‘s upcoming Netflix special, “The Push” is very simple: is it possible to manipulate an ordinary person into committing murder? Here’s the Netflix description:
In The Push, Brown exposes the psychological secrets of obedience and social compliance. He expertly lifts the lid on the terrifying truth that, when confronted with authority, our natural instinct is to unflinchingly obey without question – to such an extent that even the most moral people can be made to commit the most horrendous acts, simply because they are told to do so.
From a strictly sociological/psychological viewpoint, that’s fascinating stuff, and certainly valuable in our current political clime. But what about the poor guy who’s not in on the scheme? If he does, indeed, go through with the faux murder, how will he be viewed by his friends, family, future employers? How will he view himself?
Of course, Derren Brown isn’t just some shmuck out to go viral, so one has to assume all of that has been taken into consideration. Hopefully the special will answer those questions when it comes to Netflix on February 27.
Derren Brown has been known to push the envelope with his shows, and it seems that his new production with Netflix will be no different. The team is keeping most of the information under wraps, but a Deadline reporter is sharing that the new special for the streaming service is just as “daring” and “jaw-dropping” as his earlier efforts. And, as the man himself tweeted, filming on the project is now complete.
Sadly, that veil of secrecy extends to a release date for the as-yet-unnamed project. But we do have one tidbit of Brown’s scheduling information. When the news of his Netflix project first broke, it was also announced that the streaming video service would get the rights to show two of Brown’s other specials. Derren Brown: The Push will arrive on Netflix on February 27. No date yet for his other work, Derren Brown: Miracle, which has also been confirmed for Netflix availability.
Brown has recently been touring the UK with a live show called Derren Brown: Underground, but Netflix isn’t his only upcoming stateside appearance. His mind-reading and psychological illusion show, Derren Brown: Secret, is due to land in New York later in 2018 before going on a nationwide tour in 2019.
Mentalist Derren Brown is currently touring the UK with an encore performance of Underground, a collection of his best routines from over 15 years of magic. In an interview with the Hull Daily Mail, Brown also confirmed that he’s currently working on a brand new television special, exclusively for Netflix.
When asked if Brown was working on a new special, Brown responded:
Yes – for Netflix. They are showing Miracle and The Push – two of my [British television network Channel 4] shows – and right now I am making a brand new special for them. That’s been another interesting change – away from terrestrial TV into quite a different world. Channel 4 have been wonderful to me over the years and I hope we’ll do more together in the future: at the moment this is very exciting, too.
With this, Netflix appears to be making a larger push into the realm of illusion, previously greenlighting a project starring Justin Willman to air sometime in 2018. No word on what Brown’s special will be called or when it will air, but magic fans with a Netflix subscription should have another reason to get excited shortly. For more from the interview, including his thoughts on performing his greatest hits, and his thoughts on the current state of magic, head over to the Hull Daily Mail.
Netflix may have begun its life as mail-order DVD rental service, but over time it’s become a media powerhouse in its own right. In addition to creating its own film and television content, Netflix announced via press release that it will be expanding into the world of comic books with a brand new story called The Magic Order written by Kick-Ass and Kingsman creator Mark Millar.
The Magic Order is Millar’s first project announced for Netflix after his company, Millarworld, was acquired by the streaming/production company in August 2017. The six-part comic series will center on a team of crime-fighting and monster-busting magicians who work in secret to keep our society peaceful. Netflix describes it thus:
We live in a world where we’ve never seen a monster and these people are the reason we sleep safely in our beds. Magic meets the mob in The Magic Order, as five families of magicians sworn to protect our world for generations must battle an enemy who’s picking them off one by one. By day they live among us as our neighbors, friends and co-workers, but by night they are the sorcerers, magicians and wizards that protect us from the forces of darkness…unless the darkness gets them first.
The first issue in the six-part series will be released in Spring 2018, and will feature writing by Millar and art by Olivier Coipel (Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man). The comic will be available in physical and digital formats, wherever comic books are sold, and the cover of the first issue can be seen below:
Now, the question remains: will Netflix turn The Magic Order into a film or television series for its streaming network? All focus from the press release seems to be on the comic book itself, so there’s no word yet on whether this is the beginning of some larger transmedia venture, but that has to be where this is all headed, right? What do you think?
Netflix is making a bigger push into reality television through its streaming service, and according to Deadline, it will finally expand its original content into the realm of magic in a new series featuring magician and comedian Justin Willman.
Willman, who has just recently come off his national Fake Believe Tour and a Comedy Central special called Sleight of Mouth, will host a six-episode series to arrive on the streaming network sometime in 2018. According to the report, the currently-unnamed show will feature Willman as he travels across the country, performing magic for the “strange and misunderstood subcultures of America.”
Netflix has dabbled in providing magic acts, routines, and other magician-related documentaries on its streaming service, with programs like Breaking the Magician’s Code or The Magic of Houdini, but Justin Willman’s show will be the first original Netflix program about magic.
There’s not really a lot to go on here other than that, but Willman’s prior work involves viral videos (like the one below explaining the ridiculousness of transgender discrimination through peanut butter and jelly), and his prior appearances on Ellen and Conan O’Brien all exist on the intersection of magic and comedy. Hopefully, his upcoming Netflix show will do the same.