A Magician's Take on ABC's 'Deception' Pilot

Law enforcement and magicians have a long history. There's the CIA Manual of Trickery & Deception which earned magician John Mulholland $3,000 for writing during the Cold War. And then there's Harry Houdini, who some say used his magician persona as a cover to spy on the Germans and Russians for Scotland Yard.

Now, ABC is bringing this partnership to primetime with Deception, which debuts this Sunday, March 11 at 10|9c after the American Idol premiere.

 Performing for   the writers of    Deception  in Burbank

Performing for the writers of Deception in Burbank

Thanks to my friend, fellow magician, and show producer, David Kwong, I got to visit the Burbank writers' room for Deception, back in December with my wife, Amy. The writers were warm, welcoming, and thrilled to see me share a little close-up magic in real life!

 With my wife, Amy, and co-producer & magician, David Kwong

With my wife, Amy, and co-producer & magician, David Kwong

When we traveled to the opposite coast, we got to visit the cast of Deception as they filmed an episode on their set in Brooklyn, thanks to another great friend and fellow magician, Francis Menotti, who serves as an on-set magic consultant for the show.

When I met Jack Cutmore-Scott, who stars as Cameron Black, the magician who brings his talents to the FBI, I was impressed with his study into magic technique and sleight-of-hand. When he told me that Francis had shared with him some of my techniques and videos, he confessed he was a big fan. I'll admit it—I was a bit starstruck!

 On set in Cameron Black's living room with magic consultant, Francis Menotti

On set in Cameron Black's living room with magic consultant, Francis Menotti

I had a chance to screen the pilot, and Deception is a fascinating look into the magician’s mind and how we create deception. The plot line draws you in, and there’s constant action. The magic—represented in a perfect balance between accuracy and fantasy—adds a great and fascinating twist.

The show also includes fun byplay of characters and their opinions of magic. One FBI agent hates magic and another one absolutely loves it and doesn’t want it spoiled, just like a real audience.

Congrats to David, Francis, Jack and everyone involved in the show—I can’t wait to see the rest of the season!

Follow me on Twitter @KostyaMagician for more thoughts on this magical show.