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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » Why aren't there any big Tv specials anymore? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Matthijsvr
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Guys,
just a general discussion realy,
why do you think there arent any big illusion tv-shows anymore,
like the ones with david Copperfield and such?

is it the lack of good illusionists?
or killed "Magic's biggest secrets finally revealed"the genre?

like to hear your opinion.
Ollie
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There's a been a couple in Australia.
Matthijsvr
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I'm from the netherlands, (and the magic society is quite big here) there has been a lack for several years, we're finally picking up on the street magic hype, but there hasn't been a Illusion show yet. was just wondering why. any thoughts?
george1953
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In the UK you can tune in on a Saturday night prime time if you want to see the WORST magic on TV, its a joke.
By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail.
Matthijsvr
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On Jan 26, 2015, george1953 wrote:
In the UK you can tune in on a Saturday night prime time if you want to see the WORST magic on TV, its a joke.


which program are you referring to Smile
OzJosh
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It's true.
our time is coming again.
Magic is the ability to lie and people to love you for it and want you to lie to them again and again and again
www.redtopbox.com.au
^^^^^ has some really cool things on it
Magic Man 997
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I think it's a combination of things. I believe it's harder to get a tv special now than it was in the 80s (especially if you're unknown) and with the change in times magicians are trying other ways to get big.

Now days tv networks don't want to risk putting someone people haven't heard of on in prime time because they don't know if you'll get the views they want. You also need a way in to TV an agent or getting an idea picked up by a production company. Even if you're able to get an agent to represent you or a production company that will help produce your special, it's not a guarantee that a TV network will pick it up. There are a handful of half-hour specials and series out there on cable tv and 1 hour long series (that I can recall off the top of my head). Some got picked up because they were proven elsewhere (30 min. Masters of Illusions and the US rebroadcast of Fool US: both proven on TV before) and others probably picked up by production companies.

Magicians also try to get their name out and make it big in other ways. Why get my own show as an unknown when I can go in front of millions on America's Got Talent and maybe get a special from that. Or I can post a video on youtube and go viral or get discovered.

There are probably even more factors to why there haven't been as many big specials recently. Those are just a few things to consider.

~Tyler L.
DeceptionStunts
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I have one that is one stage away from being green lighted or dropped from consideration by a major network. The honest answer is because it's extremely difficult to catch the ear of a network executive and when you do, you better bring your A game. It becomes even more difficult if you're not the type of person that they believe will hit their demographic.
OzJosh
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We had our golden age, it's now the technological age of Magic.

our time is now, we just need to surf that cyber wave.
Magic is the ability to lie and people to love you for it and want you to lie to them again and again and again
www.redtopbox.com.au
^^^^^ has some really cool things on it
Doug Trouten
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Magician Mat Franco, who won "America's Got Talent" last year, will have a two-hour special this fall:

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2015/07....../434890/
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
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David Todd
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That's interesting about Mat Franco. Hope that goes well for him. 2 hours is long time to sustain interest. (although it looks like he'll have a lot of support from "guest stars" like Penn & Teller )

-----

Back to the original post from Matthijsvr , it is kind of shocking to me to remember that Copperfield's last TV Special was in 2001 ... 14 years ago !! Of course he has been busy with live performances , so it's not as if appearing on TV is the be all and end all for a performer . (I'd argue that magic is really best experienced as a LIVE theatrical performance , not on Television). But I would have thought there would be more interest in another Copperfield television special. He may have his reasons for stepping away from doing television specials. Public taste changing with the advent of magicians like David Blaine and so-called "reality" TV style may be the main reason. Eventually everything old is new again, so DC or some other big illusionist may put together a TV spectacular again. Although part of it is also probably the fact that because of drastically reduced advertising rates broadcast television budgets have shrunk to the point where it would be hard to get an adequate budget to produce a grand old style magic special that would be profitable. "Reality TV" caught on because it's relatively inexpensive to produce.


.
conjurus_maximus
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Surprisingly tv specials aren't lucrative. David Copperfield at magic live explained other reason's that I forget.
KristoBall
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So, uh, did anybody watch Mat Franco's special? I don't want to bash anyone - especially someone who won AGT - but maybe that's why there aren't many magic TV specials anymore. The whole celebrity worship/ego thing, camera tricks, stooges/actors, etc... just wasn't for me. Except for Gronk. Go Pats.
TommyJ
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Quote:
On Sep 21, 2015, KristoBall wrote:
So, uh, did anybody watch Mat Franco's special? I don't want to bash anyone - especially someone who won AGT - but maybe that's why there aren't many magic TV specials anymore. The whole celebrity worship/ego thing, camera tricks, stooges/actors, etc... just wasn't for me. Except for Gronk. Go Pats.


I thought exactly the same thing, in fact, I couldn't watch more than half of it.

I'm happy for Matt but, totally uninterested in where magic on television has gone the last decade. Stooges. Camera help. It's ugly.

What happened to the days of Doug Henning and Copperfield where they do the special and in the beginning of the program they announce there will be no camera tricks. No trick photography. What you will be seeing is exactly what you would see if you were sitting in the audience.

I absolutely hate when people come up to me and say "Did you SEE that special last night!!! OMG he did this, or this!!!!!" Magic on TV is definitely not for the magician, it's for the lay audience. And I'm sorry, but I can't hold back when someone asks me about it. I will tell them about stooges and camera tricks. I hate this type of magic and always will. Its ugly. Sorry Matt. I'm an ex Rhodeislander too, and I'm just giving my honest opinion.

Go PATS!!!!!
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luckyram
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Quote:
On Sep 23, 2015, TommyJ wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 21, 2015, KristoBall wrote:
So, uh, did anybody watch Mat Franco's special? I don't want to bash anyone - especially someone who won AGT - but maybe that's why there aren't many magic TV specials anymore. The whole celebrity worship/ego thing, camera tricks, stooges/actors, etc... just wasn't for me. Except for Gronk. Go Pats.


I thought exactly the same thing, in fact, I couldn't watch more than half of it.

I'm happy for Matt but, totally uninterested in where magic on television has gone the last decade. Stooges. Camera help. It's ugly.

What happened to the days of Doug Henning and Copperfield where they do the special and in the beginning of the program they announce there will be no camera tricks. No trick photography. What you will be seeing is exactly what you would see if you were sitting in the audience.

I absolutely hate when people come up to me and say "Did you SEE that special last night!!! OMG he did this, or this!!!!!" Magic on TV is definitely not for the magician, it's for the lay audience. And I'm sorry, but I can't hold back when someone asks me about it. I will tell them about stooges and camera tricks. I hate this type of magic and always will. Its ugly. Sorry Matt. I'm an ex Rhodeislander too, and I'm just giving my honest opinion.

Go PATS!!!!!



I'm with you (except for the cheating Pat's...LOL).

I also turned it off...it was ridiculous.

When he switched places with Neil P Harris and then appeared on the bus I was like "OK...camera cuts/tricks/stooges....I'm out". Also, the Heidi Klum thing with the "tattooed" card on her chest....yeah.....ok.

Someone later mentioned the Gronkowski football thing to me so I looked up the vid.....again there were quick cuts leading to the reveal so it was hard to tell what was actually going on. I suppose if done legit that he could have secreted/palmed the phone and inserted it in a prepared slit in the football (with a ringer/sounder in the ball prior to reveal) but it looked staged and too good to be true.

While I think any magic on TV is good and help to "keep the flame lit" this stuff is horrible and can lead to extremely unfair & over-inflated expectations from laymen....i.e.; they expect infinitely more than is really possible - to see grander and more ridiculous performances from working magicians because they "saw a guy do it on TV".
TommyJ
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While I think any magic on TV is good and help to "keep the flame lit" this stuff is horrible and can lead to extremely unfair & over-inflated expectations from laymen....i.e.; they expect infinitely more than is really possible - to see grander and more ridiculous performances from working magicians because they "saw a guy do it on TV". [/quote]

Very well said.
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Doug Trouten
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Sadly, I have to agree with the prevailing sentiment on Mat Franco's special. The stooging the point where I expected to see "Larry, Curly and Moe" in the credits. And did you know that all of the cards in a deck are different? I know this because Mat pointed it out pretty much every time he pulled out a deck.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
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ThomasJ
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Quote:
On Sep 24, 2015, luckyram wrote:
While I think any magic on TV is good and help to "keep the flame lit" this stuff is horrible and can lead to extremely unfair & over-inflated expectations from laymen....i.e.; they expect infinitely more than is really possible - to see grander and more ridiculous performances from working magicians because they "saw a guy do it on TV".


Nailed it. I missed the special the first time it was on but saw it a couple nights ago. I was waiting for a card trick with pure sleight of hand and 0 camera cuts. Unless I missed something, the closest to it was MacDonald's Aces which was little more than an Elmsley and some laydown subtleties - with the help of those DF cards.
pcrpttc
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Quote:
On Sep 24, 2015, TommyJ wrote:
While I think any magic on TV is good and help to "keep the flame lit" this stuff is horrible and can lead to extremely unfair & over-inflated expectations from laymen....i.e.; they expect infinitely more than is really possible - to see grander and more ridiculous performances from working magicians because they "saw a guy do it on TV".


Very well said. [/quote]
Agreed! Sometimes, they even said "Can you show me the trick that was on the TV show too?"
The Mysterious One
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I always gauge how good a special is from a layperson's perspective. My sister is the ultimate observer/layperson that will watch everything magician related TV special in the US and the UK. She thought it was OK. Of course, she is big on comparing any TV performer to David Blaine's specials, especially his Real or Magic special. I also thought that Blaine's show was really well done. It was his best special in a long, long time.

About Mat Franco, I make it a point not to come on this forum and bash anyone, but I will say this. The Mat Franco special did not elicit much excitement from me. It was hard for me to watch and I never finished it due to the aformentioned reasons mentioned in earlier posts within this thread. I think that Mat Franco is very talented from what I have seen on AGT. He is a likeable performer and I hope he does well in Vegas (if it is still going on).

Talking about magic specials, I thought Steve Cohen's special from a few years on History was wonderful. I love magic history and it was incredible to see John Gaughn's chess playing Turk in action. I can see why the original Turk made a huge splash back in the Napoleonic era. Even with all of the technology in today's world, it is startling to see an automaton in action.
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