ABC is taking viewers down the extremely well-trodden path of televised FBI crime drama for its midseason series Deception, but this time they’ve decided to throw a magician into the mix to play opposite the requisite serious-but-sexy female FBI agent.
Why you ask? Because it allows the producers to do some really cool things with the action scenes. “It basically is ‘magician impossible,’’ said executive producer Martin Gero at New York Comic Con on Sunday. “We are able to do these action sequences in a whole new and exciting way because we have new tricks in our bag,” Gero added.
To carry off these tricks in a convincing way, the producers teamed up with real live magicians. “All the things that we do in the show when it comes to magic are things that could happen in real life and a lot of the time we’re actually building those magic tricks ourselves,” said Chris Fedak, the series’ creator and executive producer.
At the same time, the creators were careful not to reveal any trade secrets. “We’ve been very, very careful to not give away technical secrets,” said David Kwong, a magician and a consultant and producer on the show.
Still, the show’s lead actor, Jack Cutmore-Scott who plays illusionist Cameron Black, had to learn some of the tricks of the trade. “I don’t actually know anything about magic,” admitted Cutmore-Scott, “but luckily I have a magician like David Kwong holding my hand.”
Cutmore-Scott (Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life) picked up the card and coin tricks easily enough, though, joking, “I’ve become really annoying at like drinks and parties and stuff.”
Ilfenesh Hadera (Billions), who plays opposite Cutmore-Scott as FBI agent Kay Daniels, had tricks of a more serious nature to learn. “I never held a gun let alone shot a gun before I started preparing for the role,” Hadera said. “For me, if I’m not credible holding a weapon or clearing a room, everything on my end just kind of falls apart.”
Hadera and Cutmore-Scott are joined by a support cast that makes up a sort of magical A-Team, as creator Chris Fedak put it. “I started thinking about the idea that a magician has a team and I love team shows – I grew up with team shows: The A-Team, Mission: Impossible,” Fedak said, adding he was excited “to do this big action network show and it’s about a group, it’s an ensemble—it’s ‘magician impossible.’”
Deception comes to ABC in early 2018.