With the intention to bring forth a unique and mysterious live competition series, NBC has recently inked a deal with Criss Angel, illusionist famed for Criss Angel: Mindfreak, and Uri Geller, known for his claimed psychic powers, to team up for a new series called Phenomenon.
Inspired by an Israeli version judged and monitored by Uri Geller, Phenomenon is a reality series that features an intensive search for the next generation mentalist. Each week, 10 hopeful mentalists must compete to demonstrate an extensive array of mystifying talents in front of weekly celebrity guests who participate along with a studio audience. While Geller and Criss Angel assess and evaluate the participants, viewers at home will determine the winner.
“The match-up of two world-famous personalities, Uri Geller and Criss Angel — who have demonstrated astounding skills — makes for a riveting series format. Factor in the mystery of the genre, the live competitive angle as the contestants attempt to follow in Criss and Uri’s footsteps, and incredible interactive applications, and we think viewers will have many compelling reasons to watch,” NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios Co-Chairman Ben Silverman said.
Geller rose to fame by claiming psychic powers and performing a series of televised performances of paranormal nature. His mind-over-matter abilities, including bending spoons and describing hidden drawings, roused much international controversy.
As for Angel, he became known for his stunts as a magician, escapologist and hypnotist. He was also noted for his television appearances on Las Vegas, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, besides his own reality show.
Meanwhile, Angel is currently wrapping up postproduction of the third season of Criss Angel: Mindfreak, in which he stars, and serves as the creator and director of the series. Additionally, he will be teaming up with Cirque du Soleil for a live magic show at the Luxor Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in the summer of 2008, which is expected to run for ten years.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of TV Guide)