Magic and Crime Come Together in the New ABC Show Deception

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop /

Do you like magic and crime shows? Well, you’re in luck because they are coming together in the New ABC Show Deception and it premieres tonight. While I was in LA last week, I had the chance to screen the first episode and meet with Creator and Executive Producer Chris Fedak & Co-Producer David Kwong for Q&A.

Photo Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

I first told them about my 12-year-old son who wants to be a magician when he grows up and how excited he will be for this show. Finally, a magic show with some excitement the whole family can watch. I wanted to know right off the bat if Jack Cutmore-Scott who play Cameron Black in the show already had magician skills or if he was taught.

David Kwong“We got very lucky that Jack Cutmore-Scott is very dexterous and loves magic. And he didn’t have the skills already but he worked very hard and continues to work with me and our New York magician Francis Menotti, and he’s always got a deck of cards on him and a pocketful of coins.”

Chris Fedak “It was crazy. When we cast the show, we always assumed, it would be, oh we’ll hire someone and we’ll have David’s hands doing all the magic. But then as we got closer and we cast Jack. We were lucky to get him, it’s like we had charming we had handsome. And the thing is is that he’s also an obsessive. So as we were walking around the production offices in New York getting ready for the shoot, I’d see Jack working on a trick, and I just thought, I’ll just tell him we’ll just do the visual effects. And that’s not okay for him, he is a perfectionist.”

Photo Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

It’s nice to leave the imagination wondering after a magic trick in the show deception we may get a little sneak peek behind the curtain showing how it’s been done. We asked if that was a good thing and how other magicians may feel about that.

David Kwong“We don’t know at large, but we were very careful, my partner in crime and I would show our friends and call people up and run things by them. These are the people that build their careers on these trade secrets, so we had to be very very careful to stay away from anything that would ruin anyone’s magic show. So there’s a couple of rules. If something is a hundred years old, and no one is doing that anymore, you can usually put that on screen.

That’s an important caveat. If someone has resurrected something from a hundred years ago and they’re now doing it and they’re making a career out of it, like leave it alone. The other fun thing is if we just come up with it on the spot and we invent our own new method, new trick, we can put that on screen because it’s our own thing. As Chris said, it’s all about engineering. 

I personally think that a little peek behind the curtain is good, I think it helps people like magic a little more, it intrigues you.”

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop /

So why have magic and crime come together in a show? We asked what their vision was for the show.

Chris Fedak – “I really wanted to make a fun network show where you’re going to sit down, be entertained and this is going to be the most fun you could possibly have. And that’s where this show comes from, it was designed to be a network TV show and that’s why ABC was the perfect home for it.  I love when shows take other shows and you sort of mush them together and you get something special out of that, so there’s definitely elements of this show that have a bit of like Castle elements or Sherlock.”

At the end of the Q&A, David Kwong, a magician himself, gave us a little magic show. How he did it, I have no clue but it is fascinating. Check out the video!

When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion – the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career.

Deception premieres tonight at 10|9c on ABC.

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