Exclusive: Syfy greenlights magic series “Close Up Kings”

The reality series, which follows three sleight-of-hand artists as they travel the U.S., is a coproduction between London's Zig Zag Productions and Toronto's Yap Films.
January 27, 2015

U.S. cable network Syfy has picked up the street magic reality show Close Up Kings.

Produced by London-headquartered Zig Zag Productions and Toronto’s Yap Films, the 8 x 60 minute-series follows sleight-of-hand artists Magick Balay, Loki, and Johnny Blaze as they travel the United States attempting to one-up each other with increasingly complex tricks, such as a Houdini-style jail escape and teleporting a person 700 yards across a desert.

“Magic programming is very much en vogue and we believe the key to creating internationally successful shows in this genre is to constantly try to reinvent what a magic show should be,” said Zig Zag CEO Danny Fenton. “Close Up Kings is unique in that the series is as much about three buddies having fun on the road as the incredible close up illusions they create on their journey.”

Fenton serves as exec producer along with Zig Zag’s Kevin Utton and Matt GouldElliott Halpern and Elizabeth Trojian are exec producing for Yap Films. The deal was brokered by Entertainment One Television, which is also handling international distribution.

Syfy previously acquired the Zig Zag-produced series Troy: Street Magic.

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.