Uri Geller and Criss Angel search for the next great Mentalist in the USA
Munich, 17. July 2007. SevenOne International, the worldwide programming distribution subsidiary of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, has sold “The Successor” to America and is coproducing the TV show together with Granada America, Keshet Broadcasting and Kuperman Productions for NBC. In the mysterious live competition series, famed mentalist Uri Geller sets out along with the American mystifyer/artist Criss Angel in search of America’s next great Mentalist. NBC is broadcasting the show with the title “Phenomenon” (working title). The spectacular talent show 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 Successor” is based on the Israeli TV show which was created by Keshet Broadcasting, Kuperman Productions and Uri Geller. The show aired in spring 2007 on Keshet, Channel 2, with an average market share of 50 percent – the highest ever recorded in Israel’s television history.
Jens Richter, Managing Director of SevenOne International: “It was obvious to us from the beginning that “The Successor” has the potential for an international success. We are very excited to have NBC as a partner. They immediately understood the power of this format, which proves that we were correct in our evaluation. And there are more to follow.”
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. 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.”
David Gyngell, Managing Director of Granada America: “Phenomenon” is a show with cult potential and Granada is excited about doing a live show for NBC. It’s a great idea.”
Eva Madjiboj, VP Business Development of Keshet Broadcasting adds: “When developing a new format for our channel we always consider its international potential. This has proven itself in the past with our other formats, but with “The Successor” we strongly believed the format would appeal to many other territories, especially as Uri is such a controversial and fascinating figure, renowned worldwide.”
SevenOne International is distributing the format internationally on behalf of Keshet Formats; the show is developed by Keshet Broadcasting, Kuperman Productions and Uri Geller. The deal was brokered by ICM and Endeavour talent agency.
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. In addition, Uri Geller is renowned as an exceptional motivational speaker who was recently invited to lecture at the World Economic Forum. Geller is mentioned in at least over a 1000 books and he himself has written 17 books which are published worldwide.
The visually arresting Angel is the creator, director and star of his selftitled, 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 topreviewed cable television specials, 2002’s “Criss Angel MINDFREAK” and 2003’s “Criss Angel: Supernatural.” 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.