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.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.