Hot Drama About Eccentric Magicians Scores Deal With Knopf, Paramount TV (Exclusive)

'Spoonbenders' follows a quirky family of magicians who lose and then regain their powers and are pursued by everyone from the CIA to the Mafia.
Courtesy of Paramount
Daryl Gregory

Spoonbenders, a hot manuscript about an eccentric family of magicians (think Royal Tenenbaums with psychics) by Daryl Gregory, has been acquired by Knopf for publishing and Paramount TV for television, in what sources say was a competitive auction on both fronts that involved multiple bidders. Terms of the deal were not announced, but the publishing-side advance is said to be at least in the high-six-figure range.

Spoonbenders is the story of the Amazing Telemachus Family, who became famous for their magic and mind-reading act before the magic disappeared one night on live TV. Years later, Matty, the grandson of patriarch Teddy Telemachus, rediscovers a little of the magic and then must stay one step ahead of the CIA, the Mafia and the magic debunker out to show they are frauds. The manuscript is said to evoke the work of Michael Chabon and Jonathan Lethem.

Gregory is the author of the multiple-award-winning We Are All Completely Fine, which also is in development at Syfy. His other books include Pandemonium, The Devil's Alphabet (a Publishers Weekly best book of the year), Raising Stony Mayhall and YA horror tale Harrison Squared.

Anonymous Content's Michael Sugar, Steve Golin (who shared an Oscar for Spotlight) and Bard Dorros will serve as executive producers on Spoonbenders. Gregory also will executive produce. Spoonbenders extends Paramount's relationship with Anonymous Content, which has a first-look deal with the indie studio. Anonymous Content also is readying Caleb Carr's The Alienist (at TNT) and Rachel Kushner's Telex From Cuba. A network and writer for Spoonbenders have yet to be determined. But as is typical for Paramount TV, the studio plans to package the drama with high-level talent and shop it to premium cable.

Gregory is repped by Marty Shapiro at Marty Shapiro Management, who brokered the deal with Paramount TV. Seth Fishman at The Gernert Co. repped him on the book deal. Tim O'Connell acquired the book for Knopf.