Tag: martin gero

Deception (ABC) pilot preview: A Spectacular Show that Works like Magic!

Written and produced by Chris Fedak (Chuck, Forever, Legends of Tomorrow). Executive produced by Greg Berlanti (Blindspot, The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow…), Martin Gero (Blindspot, The LA Complex, Stargate Atlantis), Sarah Schechter (Riverdale, The Flash, Arrow) & David Kwong (Blindspot, Now You See Me). Directed by David Nutter (Game of Thrones, Shameless US, The Mentalist, The Flash, Arrow). For Warner Bros. Television & Berlanti Productions. 6 pages. Draft 1/08/2017.

Description: When the career of superstar magician Cameron Black is ruined by scandal, he has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, illusion, and influence — the FBI. He’ll become the world’s first consulting illusionist, helping the government solve crimes that defy explanation, and trap criminals and spies by using deception, even if it means breaking the rules and pissing off everyone around him, including his partner Kay Daniels, a take-charge, hard-working special agent you don’t fool easily…

With Jack Cutmore-Scott (Kingsman, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life), Hilfenesh Hadera (Show Me a Hero, Billions, Baywatch), Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break, Telenovela, Chase), Lenora Crichlow (Being Human, Sugar Rush), Vinnie Jones (Arrow, Galavant), Justin Chon



You’ll like it if you already like: Castle, Chuck, Forever, Lucifer, Blindspot

Likely timeslot: Monday at 10.

Ladies and gentlemen, Greg Berlanti did it again! Deception was one of the two drama projects he sold to ABC this year as a producer and I have to admit I rooted for the other one (Criminal about an hedonistic con man and his ragtag team of criminals who must complete an ongoing series of missions to clear their names and steal an unknown number of long-forgotten relics that could change the fate of the world). Imagine my disappointment. I can see yours. There’s 80% chance you rolled your eyes while reading Deception‘s description and I honestly did the same. So believe me or not, the pilot script is impressive and now I totally understand why ABC fell for it. I’ll try to explain and convince you it’s not the same type of crime/consultant show we’ve been served for years. Except, it kinda is. But better, faster, stronger.

The biggest difficulty with Deception was to make it believable. And they do somehow. I’m the first to be surprised but it is what it is. In what world would the FBI need a magician to help them? Of course, it would never happen in ours. Can you imagine David Copperfield stopping terrorists thanks to a magic trick? Laughable. The real magician here must be the writer Chris Fedak then. He did a really good job from start to finish, not only by making it believable but also by making it incredibly fresh and enjoyable. The opening sequence is a spectacular and dangerous magic trick inspired by Harry Houdini, of the great magicians, that starts in a giant Las Vegas theather and end up… in Time Square, New York! He has to free himself from chains while blindfolded in a cage two hundred feets above the stage. How is that even possible? There’s an explanation. And I intend to keep it a secret. But you’ll know and it may blow your mind and disappoint you at the same time.

There’s a note at the beginning of the script explaining that all the tricks and deceptions on the show are actually possible. A real magician could perform those illusions. And it has to be noted that David Kwong, puzzle creator and magician consultant for the movie Now You See Me, serves as an executive producer. They are not taking it lightly. So yeah, magic is a big big part of the show and those scenes look incredible on paper. With Warner Bros. Television behind, I’m not worried: it will look great on screen too. Budget-wise, they won’t be able to perform such things every week. The pilot set the bar high -especially with the disappearance of a plane into thin air- but I’m pretty sure they can also do great with less money. Plus, there’s all sorts of magic and of course, Cameron Black knows it all.

It’s that kind of character. He’s pretentious, borderline but he’s damn funny, handsome and charming (look at Jack Cutmore-Scott’s face!). Nobody can resist him. Like Lucifer, for example. They could be twin. You’re not gonna be surprised if I tell you his partner is a woman and that she hates him as much as she likes him. They’re poised to fall in love sooner or later. That’s how those procedural crime shows work. People need romance. But there’s more. Cameron has a backstory, involving his father and his brother, as well as a nenemis who wants to kill him. A mysterious woman illusionist that is apparently even greater than he is and who’s ready to play a cat and mouse game. Strong serialized elements are always welcome. By the way, Cameron doesn’t do it all by himself. He has a team. And all of them add flavours to the show, especially Dina, his witty producer and makeup genius, and Gunter, his Viking-type technician. The ensemble really works. Dialogues are great. Chris Fedak worked on Chuck. They’re similar tonally.

ABC needed a new Castle badly. They may have found it. And for real this time. It’s not produced in-house but it’s everything they could hope for. It may look like a by-the-book procedural cop show sometimes, it certainly is familiar, structured like many others that came before, but it’s irresistibly fun and inventive, impressive even, and never boring. Magic happened on paper. Let’s hope it will make it out alive from pilot season!

“Blindspot” (NBC) pilot preview: the Blacktattoolist!


Written & produced by Martin Gero (Stargate SG1, Atlantis, Universe, The LA Complex). Executive produced by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Brothers & Sisters) & Sarah Schechter (The Flash, The Mysteries Of Laura). Directed by Mark Pellington (Cold Case). For NBC, Warner Bros. Television & Berlanti Prods. 62 pages.

Description: a beautiful woman with no memories of her past is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Her discovery sets off a vast and complex mystery that immediately ignites the attention of the FBI who begin to follow the road map on her body to reveal a larger conspiracy of crime while bringing her closer to discovering the truth about her identity…

With Jaimie Alexander (Thor, Agents of SHIELD), Sullivan Stapleton (Strike Back, 300 Rise of an Empire, Satisfaction), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace, Broadchurch), Rob Brown (Treme), Audrey Esparza (Black Box), Ukweli Roach (Grantchester)…

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You may not be familiar with Martin Gero yet but I bet his name is gonna count in the future of TV, whatever happens with Blinspot. After writing many episodes of sci-fi saga Stargate, some of HBO’s irresistible dark comedy Bored To Death, the interesting movie -let’s put it like that- Young People Fucking and the nice little show The LA Complex, which was worth a longer life in my opinion, here he is, entering pilot season with a script that shows the potential of a hit in the making. It’s no surprise if two of the most sought after actors, Thor‘s Jaimie Alexander and Strike Back‘s Sullivan Stappleton, chose to star in it. Two years ago, The Blacklist was THE show everybody in the business was talking about. And it became a hit of some sort. Blindspot might become this years’. And with genius Greg Berlanti as a producer, I don’t see how it could turn into something else than a series order, with NBC giving it a big promotional push (and a spot behind The Voice). You’re gonna hear about it a lot. You’ve been warned!

In its DNA, Blindspot shares a lot with The Blacklist (and a certain John Doe, for those who remember it). It’s the same kind of “go big or go home” pilot where nothing sounds realistic in any way but somehow it manages not to turn into a ridiculous disaster because it’s highly entertaining, fast-paced -doesn’t really give you time to think- and ambitious. It starts with a very intense and visual scene that is definitely gonna be remembered. When I say “Go big” I mean: a NAKED woman who goes out of a BAG in the middle of TIMES SQUARE in NEW YORK, covered with TATTOOS. Of course, everybody think it’s a human bomb ready to explode. Can you imagine something bigger than that to start a show? In comparison, the first scene of The Blacklist was just a walk in the park. Because it was probably not enough, there’s another story in parallel where our hero is saving a group of kidnaped women stuck in the attic of a house. Just for the sake of showing how great he is at his job. So you have in one hand a beautiful amnesiac woman, who is looking for answers about her past, and on the other hand a brilliant man of action, who needs to take care of her if he wants to catch the bad guys until there is none anymore in the surface of the Earth. And now you have a show to toy with in your hands.

I can’t definitely tell you how Blindspot will look like after the pilot but my guess is it will be like The Blacklist, a mix of procedural and serialized elements, thanks to the hundreds of tattoos on her body and their meanings. One bad guy will be caught every episode, with a bigger story told from time to time because there’s clearly a great conspiracy behind all this. A flashback is here to prove that, and a mysterious face in the shadows too. Classical elements, efficient. There are two main differences with The Blacklist though. Let’s start with the bad one: there is no Reddington in Blindspot. We’re missing a mastermind of that sort that cracks funny and cruel jokes while fascinates the audience and eveybody around him. But he could arrive later in the season… The good one is our Jane Doe is not the same as pretty boring and inexpressive Elizabeth Keen. She’s the fascinating one in fact. She has a lot of stories from her past to tell. A lot of secrets also. And so many skills. It’s already too much. Plus, she may not be the victim here… I don’t want to spoil anything but I’ll just say there is a connection between our two heroes, an obvious one after a few minutes. And the writer doesn’t wait for an entire season to tell us the truth about it. Many thanks for that!

Blindspot is an high octane thriller with two kick-ass characters at the center of it, that will please those who like action scenes as much as those who are more into suspense and mysteries (and you’re allowed to like both). It’s a no-brainer pick-up for NBC and truthfully, I’d watch it blindly.

NBC orders last drama pilots: “Endgame”, “Blindspot”…


NBC’s drama plate is full! The network ordered what should be its last four drama orders for this pilot season…

After Warrior, Love is a four letter word, planted spin-off Chicago Med, The Curse of the Fuentes Women and Game Of Silence, NBC orders two thriller dramas, Endgame and Blindspot. First one comes from The Blacklist producers, three John : John Rogers, also creator of The Librarians for TNT, John Davis and John Fox as executive producers. It is described as a high-octane thriller set in the high stakes world of Las Vegas and it centers on a former sniper turned security expert who is drawn into a mysterious conspiracy that forces him to complete a series of heroic challenges in order to save innocent lives. It is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Second one, Blindspot, is from Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Brothers & Sisters and many more) and written by Martin Gero (The LA Complex). It starts with a beautiful woman, with no memories of her past, who is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Her discovery sets off a vast and complex mystery that immediately ignites the attention of the FBI who begin to follow the road map on her body to reveal a larger conspiracy of crime while bringing her closer to discovering the truth about her identity.

NBC also ordered one medical pilot, a hot genre this year at every network but it’s the first one which goes to pilot stage so far. Heart Matters, produced by actress Amy Brenneman (Private Practice, Amy, The Leftovers) is inspired by the life of Dr. Kathy Magliato and her book of the same name. The medical soap follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere, one of the rare female heart-transplant surgeons. Alex brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life. Doesn’t sound lije very original…

Last one is Unveiled, a copycat of the 90s series Touched by an angel, from one of its actresses, Roman Downey, and husband TV reality producer Mark Burnett. It follows an ensemble of flawed guardian angels who intervene in the lives of those who find themselves facing crisis in an attempt to restore their faith and, often, save their lives. Borrrrrring.