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How’s this for a magical gathering?
In one of the season’s biggest commitments, ABC has handed out a hefty pilot-production commitment to Deception — a magic drama reuniting Blindspot creator Martin Gero, exec producer Greg Berlanti and consultant David Kwong. Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak is set to pen the script for the drama, which landed at ABC following a multiple-network bidding war.
Here’s the official logline: When a superstar magician’s career is ruined by scandal, he has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, illusion and influence — the FBI. He’ll become the world’s first consulting illusionist, helping the government solve crimes that defy explanation, and trap criminals and spies by using deception.
Fedak, currently the co-showrunner on The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, will pen the script and executive produce the Warner Bros. Television drama. Greg Berlanti and head of his studio-based Berlanti Productions banner Sarah Schechter will exec produce. Renowned magician Kwong, who is also a puzzle creator as well as writer-producer and consultant on the Now You See Me films and NBC’s Blindspot, will be credited as a co-producer. Kwong is instrumental in creating the puzzles on Blindspot, with Deception set to mark a reunion for him with creator Gero and Berlanti. The deal comes the same day that Blindspot season two premieres on its new night and time on NBC and three months after Lionsgate/Summit released the sequel to Now You See Me. The sequel grossed $328.6 million worldwide, just short of the first film ($351.7 million worldwide).
For prolific producer Berlanti, meanwhile, Deception marks his latest sale this development season. He also is reteaming with Gero for Criminal — which scored a put-pilot commitment — and has Raised by Wolves with Diablo Cody attached, both at ABC. Additionally, Berlanti has DC Comics take Black Lightning set up at Fox. Heading into the fall season, Berlanti is an exec producer on Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Blindspot and The CW’s midseason entry Riverdale. Berlanti is repped by WME.
For Fedak’s part, Deception marks his return to ABC following short-lived WBTV-produced drama Forever. He’s repped by WME.
Gero, who also has an overall at WBTV, is with WME.
For Warner Bros. Television, the drama marks a key off-network sale as the independent studio heads into the fall season with new ABC series Time After Time, from Kevin Williamson. For ABC, the drama comes as the typically female-skewing network has been looking to broaden its audience with fare like Designated Survivor.
Magic continues to be a popular genre on the small screen. Syfy has found success with its take on The Magicians book series, and The CW continues to use Penn & Teller: Fool Us all over its schedule.
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