July 16, 2007 06:22 PM by Joe Blackmon
NBC has signed a series deal with mystifier/artist Criss Angel ("Criss
Angel Mindfreak") and famed mentalist Uri Geller for "Phenomenon"
(working title) — a mysterious live competition series in which both
men will conduct an intensive search for the next great mentalist. The
announcement was made today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC
Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.
"The match-up of two world-famous personalities, Uri Geller and Criss Angel — who have demonstrated astounding skills — makes for a riveting series format," said Silverman. "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."
The series, based on a successful Israeli version judged and monitored by Geller which achieved a historical record-breaking viewing audience, tests 10 hopeful mentalists who must compete each week to demonstrate a wide spectrum of mystifying talents on a panel of weekly celebrity guests who participate along with a studio audience. Geller and Angel will assess the contestants and offer their unfiltered opinions. Ultimately, the winner’s fate will be determined by the viewers at home.
The visually arresting Angel is the creator, director and star of his self-titled, alternative cable series, "Criss Angel MINDFREAK" which is currently wrapping post production on its third remarkable and critically acclaimed season.
In addition, Angel created and starred in two top-reviewed cable television specials, 2002′s "Criss Angel MINDFREAK" and 2003′s "Criss Angel: Supernatural." He has been the featured guest-star on both NBC’s "Las Vegas" and "CSI: New York." Angel also has appeared on countless talk shows including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Larry King Live" and "Late Night With Conan O’Brien." In the summer of 2008, Angel will team up with Cirque du Soleil for a live magic experience at the Luxor Resort and Casino in Las Vegas that is slated to run for ten years and over 4600 shows.
Geller soared to international fame by claiming extreme mind-over-matter abilities that aroused much controversy to this day in his hundreds of TV shows across the globe — particularly the ability to bend spoons, among others. He was instrumental in creating the first interactive TV show worldwide when mysteriously objects bent in people’s homes and broken watches came alive.
"Phenomenon" is a Granada America/Keshet Broadcasting/Kuperman Productions co-production in association with SevenOne International. SevenOne International controls the worldwide rights to the program.