Uri Geller’s Back

NBC announced today that Criss Angel (Mindfreak) and Uri Geller (just a freak) will be appearing in a new reality show this fall tentatively titled “Phenomenon.”

The show is “a mysterious live competition series in which both men will conduct an intensive search for the next great mentalist.”

I didn’t know there was a first great mentalist.

The series, based on a successful Israeli version judged and monitored by Geller which achieved a historical record-breaking viewing audience, tests 10 hopeful mentalists who must compete each week to demonstrate a wide spectrum of mystifying talents on a panel of weekly celebrity guests who participate along with a studio audience. Geller and Angel will assess the contestants and offer their unfiltered opinions. Ultimately, the winner’s fate will be determined by the viewers at home.

NBC Co-chairman Ben Silverman was asked about his decision:

Why go with the controversial Uri Geller? “We had goosebumps watching [the Israel version],” says Silverman.

The Israeli version, called “The Successor,” came under fire when magicians said there were no mental powers being exhibited. Instead, it was all (*gasp*) “tricks and stunts.”

Since mental powers have never been shown to exist, and I doubt we’re about to see them for the first time, I wonder how the judges are going to rate the contestants…

Just watch for the fine print in the show’s closing credits that states the show is for entertainment value only and not meant to be taken seriously.

Of course, the show will inevitably become a hit… because America is full of gullible morons.

Incidentally, James Randi has debunked Geller on multiple occasions.


[tags]atheist, atheism, NBC, Chris Angel, Mindfreak, Uri Geller, Phenomenon, Ben Silverman, The Successor, James Randi[/tags]

  • Maria

    well, I’m going to watch it out of simple curiosity, and because I bet it will be amazingly amusing and I need amusement. I’ve seen a lot of James Rhandi’s work. It’s pretty good. I can’t believe anyone still takes this Geller guy seriously……….

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    This is AWESOME.

    I cannot imagine a better thing for skepticism.

    CSICOP (or whatever they’re calling themselves nowawadays) only needs to make public announcements calling the show a rigged fraud.

    Then they issue a standing challenge. Whoever wins the competition will be challenged to demonstrate their supernatural ability.

    And here’s the nature of the challenge: $1 million dollars to charity if the person passes the challenge… and NBC has to put up the same money to charity if the person fails.

    Charity should be one of public acknowlegement… like for schoolkids or medical research.

    Then they PUSH… they call NBC afraid. They call the winner a coward. They call Gellar a proven fraud.

    MAN, this would be JUICY TV. TV would eat it up.

    I can’t wait.

  • Richard Wade

    A “reality” show? Oh how droll. Another colossal waste of time. They should call the show “American Idle.”

  • Maria

    A “reality” show? Oh how droll. Another colossal waste of time. They should call the show “American Idle.”

    LOL yes! Have Simon judge the whole thing!!!

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    I’d suspect that most people who watch Geller don’t take him seriously and figure it’s a show. Having never found stage magicians very entertaining, espeically on TV I’ve never understood what the fuss was about. Unless someone can demonstrate that he’s taking excessive amounts of money from people he is defrauding where’s the harm?

    That being said, James Randi is pretty much a fraud himself. His brand of debunkery could be applied to, say, experimental psychology and do what he does to Geller. The apparent reproduction of an effect isn’t the same thing as scientific falsification or of proving fraud. Those are more serious and difficult activities but in the case of real scientists and researchers that is the standard that should be required. Randi has been passing himself off as a serious figure for years and has been roping in the suckers but what he does really doesn’t have anything to do with science. He’s an illusionist, just like Geller is.


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