An interesting article from BroadcastNow.co.uk talks about the on again off again relationship between magicians and television. Using Dynamo and Derren Brown to kick off the piece, it discusses the varied success of magic themed programming on British TV.
From Tommy Cooper to Paul Daniels, David Blaine and David Copperfield, magic has been a perennial of television. But like the magicians themselves, TV needs to move with the times and constantly revise how it presents their craft to the viewing public.
Derren Brown has set the bar high with his psychological games and high-profile, sometimes controversial, stunts; while on the big screen, the Harry Potter franchise and films like The Illusionist and The Prestige demonstrate an appetite for magic and its ability to capture an audience.
But while Dynamo’s popularity has boosted a small channel, some recent attempts at capturing magic’s sparkle have fallen flat, most notably the more traditional Saturday primetime formats. Penn And Teller: Fool Us on ITV1 and BBC1’s The Magicians will not be returning, leading some to question whether magic’s appeal is sustainable.