July 16, 2013 9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
CW Revives Magic Show 'Masters of Illusion' (Exclusive)
The CW is pulling a magic show out of its hat.
The network is reviving Masters of Illusion, a show that features comedic magic, daring escapes, grand illusions and more. The series, which ran for three seasons and most recently aired on MyNetworkTV, has received an order for 13 hourlong episodes set to air in 2014.
Production on the show will begin in late July and run through early September, filming in locations including spots on Los Angeles' famed Hollywood Boulevard, New York's Times Square and venues in New Orleans and Orlando.
The series hails from Associated Television International, which boasts the largest library of magic-themed programming. The banner has produced specials including the World Magic Awards and Masters of Illusion Live, the largest globally touring magic show. The tour, now in its third year, has made 135 stops across the U.S. and Canada as well as international tours in Peru, the Philippines and Singapore, with an eight-country European tour in the works.
The new CW incarnation will feature magicians including Rick Thomas, Murray Sawchuck, Farrell Dillon, Jan Rouven, Drexus, Zelandra and Titou, among others. It will be executive produced by Gay Blackstone, a former president of the Academy of Magical Arts, who will again team with producers David Martin and Al Schwartz.
Masters of Illusion comes as the CW is finding modest success with unscripted fare that also includes the upcoming Hunger Games-esque competition effort Capture, Oh Sit! and the revival of improv series Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Sony Pictures Television will handle international distribution of the series.
A premiere date for Illusion has not yet been determined.