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NBC ANNOUNCES DEAL WITH WORLD-RENOWNED MYSTIFIER CRISS ANGEL AND FAMED MENTALIST URI GELLER FOR ‘PHENOMENON,’ CONTROVERSIAL NEW LIVE COMPETITION SERIES THAT WILL LEAD SEARCH FOR THE NEXT GREAT MENTALIST
BURBANK – July 16, 2007 – 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.
Deborah Thomas, NBC Entertainment Publicity, 818/840-3663
Wendy Luckenbill, NBC Entertainment Publicity, 818/840-2543
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“There is no spoon!”
“The world needs your amazing talents. I need them”
“Uri Geller gave an absolutely resonating talk on his life and career. He had every single magician in the room on the edge of their seats trying to digest as much information as they could. Uri emphasized that the path to frame is through uniqueness and charisma and that professional entertainers must be creative in their pursuits of success and never shy away from publicity.”
Tannens Magic Blog
“The man is a natural magician. He does everything with great care, meticulous misdirection and flawless instinct. The nails are real, the keys are really borrowed, the envelopes are actually sealed, there are no stooges, there are no secret radio devices and there are no props from the magic catalogues.”
James Randi (In an open letter to Abracadabra Magazine)
Sir Elton John
“Eternity is down the hall And you sit there bending spoons In your mind, in your mind”
“I Have watched Uri Geller… I have seen that so I am a believer. It was my house key and the only way I would be able to use it is get a hammer and beat it out back flat again.”
“Better than watching Geller bending silver spoons, better than witnessing new born nebulae’s in bloom”