Menu
Menu

ABC’s magic-themed crime drama, Deception, has been cancelled. The show, which our own Susan Arendt quite generously described as “the imitation butter of crime shows,” got off to a bad start and quickly got worse, but was clawing its way back towards something resembling entertainment when ABC announced it wouldn’t be getting a second season. As it stands, the final episode “Transposition” will air on May 27th. 

Deception is one of several television shows brought low by executive decisions this week, but while fan favorites like Brooklyn Nine-Nine have already been picked up by other channels (and please, God, let someone pick up The Expanse), it seems unlikely that Deception will be coming back from the grave.  

While everyone here at GeniiOnline is positively aching to tell you exactly what went wrong with Deception, we’re going to wait until that last episode has aired to do a full post-mortem. 

Oh, and The Big Bang Theory got renewed. You know, just in case you thought there was an ounce of justice in this wretched world. 

Televised magic is having a bit of a renaissance, and mentalist Oz Pearlman is one of the latest to take advantage. He’s the star of a new special called Oz Knows, which will air on May 12 on NBC after Saturday Night Live.

The program all takes place in New York City, and Pearlman offers a tour of the city in addition to his mind reading skills. He entertains people at iconic locales such as McSorley’s Old Ale House, Katz’s Deli, and backstage on Broadway. The teaser clip above gives a taste of what to expect with the special.

Jon Dorenbos, the football-player-turned-magician, captured our hearts with his appearances on Ellen. He’s dropped by the comedian’s talk show several times to show off magic tricks, and he went decidedly big for his latest visit on the set. He has a giant map of the United States, a pile of oversized footballs, a calculator, a deck of cards, and some highly questionable money-counting. It’s a fun prediction routine that plays really well to the crowd.

He closes with a quick torn-and-restored card trick that offers some very sweet kudos to Ellen. Check out the full performance here:

Attention geeks who like magic and magicians who like geeky things! The Big Bang Theory is wrapping up its eleventh season with a venerable who’s who of pop culture guest stars. Teller, the silent half of Penn & Teller, will be joining the sitcom’s season finale episode without his taller and louder co-star.

Several other guests have been confirmed for the episode, which will feature the wedding of nerd power couple Sheldon, played by Jim Parsons, and Amy, played by Mayim Bialik. Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame and Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame are among the other known celebrities who will join the episode.

The finale will air on CBS on May 10 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.

Naathan Phan has been on the road charming audiences as a member of the latest Masters of Illusion tour. The multi-talented performer is also taking a turn on the small screen. He recently tweeted that he filmed an episode of an upcoming show called Junk Drawer Magical Adventures. The premiere is May 5 on Universal Kids, and Naathan is credited as simply playing himself.

The new show was inspired by a YouTube show titled Junk Drawer Magic, where two young performers teach viewers magic tricks that you can do with everyday objects. Both programs are from DreamWorksTV and star hosts Akira Sky and Walker Satterwhite.

While the YouTube version is pretty much a well-produced magic tutorial series, it seems like the upcoming television series will have a fictional and fantastical bent: the description of the first episode on imdb.com mentions both ghosts and resurrections. But the duo will probably use a mix of magic and MacGyvering to get out of the supernatural shenanigans.

It’s rare that I get to put any of the stories here on GeniiOnline into a personal context, mostly on account of my personal context being “remains indoors at all times,” but my mum and I are actually regular viewers of Good Morning Britain. So, imagine my consternation when it turns I’d slept through an episode that featured top tier mentalist, Lior Suchard, performing all kind of crazy mind reading.

Naturally, I had to seek my mother’s opinion on the man’s work. What about the moment Suchard guessed the name of Alex Beresford’s first girlfriend, leaving the weatherman in an apparent state of shock?

“It was alright,” she said, resorting to a word she’s previously used to describe the Taj Mahal and Academy Award winning film No Country For Old Men.

She was equally impressed when Suchard not only guessed the object (or in this case animal) presenter Susana Reid was thinking about, but actually had a picture of that object as the latest pic on his Instagram account. She did, however, suggest that Suchard handing his mobile phone to presenter and former Daily Mirror editor, Piers Morgan, was unwise.  

She wasn’t as keen on the glasses trick performed on Richard Arnold, dismissing it as “silly,” but she did have high praise the part where the Israeli mentalist guessed Piers Morgan’s banking PIN.

“Mmmm,” she said, between sips of espresso, “That bit was quite good. I wonder how he did it.”

You heard it here first, folks: Lior Suchard, mentalist, “quite good.” 

Derren Brown, possibly the most unsettling mentalist currently on the magic circuit, paid a visit to The Late Late Show with James Corden last week. The usually affable Corden may have regretted the choice of guest when Brown asked him to put a shard of a broken light bulb on his tongue and then eat it. Corden managed to eat the glass fragment with understandable amounts of trepidation and coaching from Brown.

“What’s going on?!?!” Corden yells at one point. Took the words right out of my mouth, James.

If you want more of this decidedly unnerving approach to mind games, then check out Brown’s special The Push, which recently became available on Netflix. And then you’ll need some patience, because he’s got another Netflix project still in the works.

Deception, a new show on ABC where FBI agents get a pinch-hit in their crime-solving from a roguish magician, premieres on Sunday, March 11 at 10 pm. The show’s stars and its magic consultant, Francis Menotti, have been drumming up interest with lots of press interviews. Menotti said he has been particularly impressed with how quickly his newest protege, actor Jack Cutmore-Scott, picked up the tricks.

“Jack may be the best I’ve ever worked with,” he told Decider. “What I thought I had to do was teach him basic sleight of hand, muscle movements, control, and observation; being able to aware of your surroundings and be aware of angles. What I didn’t realize I’d be teaching him, and what he’s learned on his own is how to work an audience.” Menotti added that he could send the actor a video clip of a magic trick and Cutmore-Scott would have it nailed in six hours. They also did plenty of in-person research to prep him for the role as superstar magician Cameron Black.

“We went to see real magic shows and we’d talk about them after,” Menotti recalled. “We had discussions not just about how the tricks work but specifically how the psychology of the magic worked.”

When Decider asked Cutmore-Scott about the magician training, he said that keeping a poker face during the tricks has been his biggest challenge:

The hardest part is to actually not get overexcited when it works, staying calm as if it’s normal, because for Cameron it is normal; it’s just not for me. I’m only more impressed now that I’ve snuck a peek behind the curtain because you find out how much work goes into these tricks that are designed to look totally natural and magic. They’re supposed to look effortless and they are not.

Read the full interview here.

We love a good magic documentary, especially having grown up watching shows like Nova’s Secrets of the Psychics with James Randi. The CBC’s science, wildlife, and technology show The Nature of Things is going to air a special on Sunday, March 18 called The Science of Magic, and the lineup of included magicians sounds incredible.

According to Canada’s Magic, the show will feature performances by and interviews with the likes of Julie Eng, Ronald Rensink, Jay Olson, Gustav Kuhn, Anthony Barnhart, Amory Danek, Matthew Tompkins, Thomas Strandberg, Billy Kidd, Tom Stone, Thomas Fraps, Pit Hartling, and Juan Tamariz. The show will be hosted by executive director of Magicana, Julienne Eng. 

For those of you living in Canada unable to catch the televised broadcast, the CBC will host the video on its website for streaming a few days earlier on Friday, March 16 at 5:00pm EST. No word yet on when the documentary will be available to view in other countries, but the press release in the report above mentions that this is the “world broadcast premiere”, so hopefully the rest of the world will get a chance to check it out soon.

The televised talent show is having quite a moment in the sun, but that means magicians have yet another avenue for showcasing their skills. This week kicks off a new season of Showtime at the Apollo, the program that kickstarted the whole genre. The premiere episode is on Thursday, March 1, at 9 pm Eastern on FOX, and Steve Harvey will host.

The reboot is going to have at least a little bit of magic. Bedros Spidey Akkelian, a mentalist and hypnotist who performs under the stage name Spidey, shared to Facebook that the Apollo will be one of his televised performances this year. We’ll be staying tuned to see if any other prestidigitators manage to wow the crowds at the famed theater.