While in LA, we also spent a day and a half screening and meeting casts for some new ABC shows. One show we screened was Deception, which is the magic of Criss Angel meets SVU. It premieres tonight at 10:00|9:00c.
About the Show (courtesy of ABC)
When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion – the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career. “Deception” stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco as Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins as FBI Agent Deakins and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen. The show will premiere Sunday, March 11 after the premiere of American Idol.
We interviewed Chris Fedak, Creator & Executive Producer and David Kwong, Co-producer. David is also a magician!
The Show’s Vision
Chris shared that he wanted to create a show about a team.
I love shows about teams because they’re shows about family, in a way. I hadn’t seen a show about a group of people putting together deceptions like this, and I thought that could be cool.
And then the other part of it that I liked is that I thought, this is Magician Impossible. What we’re going to be doing every week is essentially an action show with mystery and deceptions and all that cool stuff. But instead of it being like every episode has to end with a gun fight or a big fight is that every episode would have a big deception at the heart of it.
About Making a Show for Network Television
One interviewer compared the show to the movie The Prestige meets Castle. She inquired how Chris determined what elements were going to make the show.
I really wanted to make a fun network show, I wanted to make a show that was like you’re going to sit down, and I’m going to entertain you, and this is going to be the most fun you could possibly have. And that’s where this show comes from, it was designed to be a network TV show and that’s why ABC was the perfect home for it. But to your- too what you’re saying, it’s like for me, I love when shows take other shows and- you sort of mush them together and you get something special out of that, so there’s definitely elements of this show that have a bit of- like Castle elements or Sherlock.
I’d love for those comparisons and essentially that’s a big part of Deception because that’s what I watch. But the other thing too is I also like romance and I like comedy. And since this is ABC, it’s like I want those elements to be a part of the show too. My cast is wonderful. And so we want to have- this will be a much more emotional cop show with bad guys than you could- than even I knew I was going to have.
About Jack Cutmore-Scott
We were also curious if the show’s magician had magician skills already or if it was learned for the role.
David replied, “Well we got very lucky that Jack Cutmore-Scott is very dexterous and loves magic. And he didn’t have the skills already but he worked very, very hard and continues to work with me and our New York magician Francis Menotti, and he’s always got a deck of cards on him [and] a pocketful of coins.”
Chris added, “It was crazy. When we cast the show, we always assumed, it would be, oh we’ll hire [someone and] we’ll have David’s hands doing all the magic. But then as we got closer and we cast Jack. We were lucky to get him, it’s like we had charming we had handsome. And the thing is is that he’s also an obsessive. So as we were walking around the production offices in New York getting ready for the shoot, I’d see Jack working on a trick, and I just thought, I’ll just tell him we’ll just do the visual effects. And that’s not okay for him, he is a perfectionist.
Deception premieres tonight on ABC after American Idol.
Disclosure: ABC/Disney flew me to LA for the press junkets. Travel and accommodations were paid for. All opinions are my own. Deception photos courtesy of ABC. Group photo courtesy of Louise Bishop.