Still, TV still had some enchantment up its sleeve. Magic abounded again on 'America's Got Talent,' and Houdini's lesser-known brother, Hardeen (at right), dazzled the patrons of 'Boardwalk Empire'.
Enjoy a review of this past year's sleight of hand.
Somehow, despite all of that, Ellen DeGeneres has managed some success with the format, and is now on her third - Ellen's Bigger, Longer & Wider Show, on TBS Saturday at 9PM.
Perhaps it's the fact that it's on TBS, which means the stakes are slightly lower than on the main networks. Or the fact that DeGeneres brings a loyal fanbase from her Ellen DeGeneres Show and her stand-up. Those would be the reasons you would look for if you were an industry executive or a media critic.
Even the Chicago Cubs will make an appearance, as DeGeneres tapes a segment at Wrigley Field, singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch June 16 (the rest of the show will be taped June 17 at the Chicago Theatre).
But the thing DeGeneres seems most excited about is comedian Joe Wong, whom we first wrote about in April when he made his network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. She'd love to see more comedians like Wong on television.
- At 8, ABC has a new Dancing with the Stars, followed by David Blaine: Dive of Death.
- CBS has the season premiere of Old Christine at 8, then the series premiere of Gary Unmarried and the season premieres of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY.
- NBC has the series premiere of Knight Rider at 8, then a new America's Got Talent and the season premiere of Lipstick Jungle.
- FOX has new episodes of Bones, 'Til Death, and Do Not Disturb.
- The CW has a new America's Next Top Model at 8.
- At 9, PBS has a new American Masters.
- Bravo has a new Project Runway at 9, then a new Top Design.
- There's a new MonsterQuest on History Channel at 9.
- Also at 9: Sundance Channel has a new Architecture School.
- At 9:30, A&E has a new Dog The Bounty Hunter, followed by a new Criss Angel Mindfreak.
- At 10, Food Network has a new Dinner: Impossible.
- At 10:30, Comedy Central has a new Lewis Black's Root Of All Evil.
Check your local TV listings for more.
After the jump, the late night talk show listings.
He's survived being encased in ice, being buried alive in a grave, being trapped in a plexiglass box high in the air, holding his breath underwater for Oprah, and standing on top of a pedestal for a few days, but this is the first stunt where magician David Blaine will wear magnetic footwear. Take that, Criss Angel!
ABC has announced the next special to feature Blaine, who seems to be loved and loathed in equal measure. The show is titled "The Dive of Death," and will feature Blaine walking on the underside of a thin wire high above Wollman Rink in New York City. He'll do it for three days and nights, with the help of magnetic boots. On a related note, "The Dive of Death" also describes the bar down the street from my apartment.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! MAGICAL SPOILERS!
On today's edition of Oprah, which many people in the country have already seen, magician/stunt artist David Blaine attempted to break the world record for a person holding their breath. Did he actually do it? The results after the jump.
I've been listening to magician Penn Jillete's radio show for awhile now, and it's become perfectly clear that no matter how much he likes you, he'll still insult you. During yesterday's program, which you can listen to here, he and guest Criss Angel spent the hour slamming David Blaine and his stunt in front of Lincoln Center. This isn't the first time Penn has lobbed insults at Blaine, although he always prefaces those insults by saying he does admire Blaine as a performer. Penn's assertion is that most of the card tricks Blaine does could easily be learned by anyone in under six minutes. Of course, one should take Penn's penchant for exaggeration into consideration, as well. Angel, also a fan of Blaine's, claimed he has already done Blaine's underwater stunt, having been submerged in a tank for twenty-four hours. Since math wasn't my best subject I haven't been able to figure out how twenty-four hours is the same as seven days, but there you go. Penn also reiterated something he's been saying all week, which is that his partner Teller has been underwater for more than eleven minutes on more than one occasion as part of their stage show, considerably more than the current record of eight minutes and fifty-eight seconds. Of course, Penn then adds this caveat: "Of course, he was cheating."
So yeah, it's a bit after the fact, but if you want to hear magicians talking smack, it's worth a listen.
When the main emphasis of your ABC special is trying to hold your breath for longer than eight minutes and fifty-eight seconds, the special itself probably doesn't need to be longer than a half an hour. You can try to stretch it to an hour, but you'd have to add a lot of filler. If you go for two hours, then the special becomes both an endurance test for the magician and the home audience.
Well, as you probably know by now, David Blaine did not break the record for holding one's breath underwater the longest. Granted, if he actually did spend seven days underwater and his body had taken the punishment it supposedly had, lasting for seven minutes and eight seconds was a feat in and of itself. Of course, to get to that point we had to sit through a lot of shots featuring Blaine sitting underwater among sharks and stingrays, or falling into water, or talking about water. Also, we get to hear about his "journey" to his "human aquarium" at Lincoln Center, including all the crazy stunts he had done up to that point.
- Will David Blaine drown? Check out live at 8pm on ABC. It's followed by a new What About Brian? Unless Blaine drowns, and then it will probably be followed by ABC news live coverage of his death.
- CBS has new eps of King of Queens, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Old Christine, and CSI: Miami.
- NBC has a new Deal Or No Deal at 8, followed by new eps of The Apprentice and Medium (with Kelsey Grammer).
- Over on FOX, new episodes of Prison Break and 24.
- The WB has the series (season?) finale of 7th Heaven at 8, followed by a new Everwood.
- UPN has new eps of One On One, All Of Us, and a new one hour Girlfriends.
- TLC has Jamie's School Lunch Project, where chef Jamie Oliver teaches kids how to cook. It's on at 8.
- TV Land has four eps of Leave It To Beaver, starting at 8.
- Also at 8: TNT has two NBA playoff games.
- At 9, USA has a new WWE Monday Night RAW.
- Also at 9: the Travel Channel has a new Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
- At 10, MTV has a new Punk'd.
- At 7pm, (or after football, CBS has a new 60 Minutes, followed by a new Cold Case and the second Jesse Stone movie with Tom Selleck, Night Passage.
- ABC has two new eps of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, starting at 7, followed by new eps of Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy.
- NBC has a new Dateline at 7, followed by new eps of The West Wing, Law and Order: CI, and Crossing Jordan.
- ESPN has first round coverage of The Australian Open, also at 7.
- At 8 (or after football), FOX has the 2 hour season premiere of 24.
- UPN has a new Charmed at 8, followed by a repeat Supernatural.
- The Weather Channel has two new Storm Stories on Hurricane Katrina, starting at 8.
- Discovery has live coverage of the 2006 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship (dog show to you and me) at 8.
- There's a new Emeril Live on Food Network at 8, "Southern Sunday Supper."
- At 9, TLC has two David Blaine specials: Street Magic and Magic Man.
- Also at 9: a new episode of Strong Medicine, followed by a new Missing. Both are on Lifetime.
- DIY has a new Trade School at 9.
- HGTV has a new ep of Rezoned at 9:30, followed by a new ep of If These Walls Could Talk.
- At 10, the Travel Channel has a new episode of Tribal Life.
- Also at 10, American Life has Homefront, followed by The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Mayberry R.F.D., and I'll Fly Away.
- At 11, HBO has Million Dollar Baby, while HBO2 has Alexander.
- There's a new episode of The Boondocks on Cartoon Network at 11.
- The Sci-Fi Channel is running repeats of Surface. Catch the latest episode at 11. It's followed by Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.
- At midnight, TCM has Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920 adventure drama The Mask of Zorro.
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