ABC Picks Up Sci-Fi Refugee, FBI/Magician Drama Pilots

ABC has added a pair of buzzy drama pilots to next season’s development slate.

The network has picked up two new drama pilots, The Crossing and Deception, TVLine has learned. The Crossing has a timely-sounding premise, with war refugees seeking shelter in an American town. Only there’s a sci-fi twist: The refugees are from America… and traveling back in time from 250 years in the future. The main characters include a local sheriff with a past, a federal agent and a mother looking for her refugee daughter… and of course, there’s a conspiracy at the center of everything.

Deception — not to be confused with the short-lived NBC drama of the same name from 2013 — centers on “superstar magician” Cameron Black, who uses his powers of illusion to (what else?) help the FBI solve crimes after a scandal ruins his career as a magician. Using his supernatural skills, Black will “help the government solve crimes that defy explanation and trap criminals and spies by using deception.”

Both pilots come from seasoned producers: The Crossing is from writers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie (Scorpion, Revenge), and Deception is written by Chris Fedak (Chuck, Forever) and executive produced by Greg Berlanti and Blindspot creator Martin Gero.

Do either of these ABC pilots sound like they’re worth a try? Cast your vote in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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26 Comments
  1. Mike W. says:

    How is Deception that different from “The Mentalist” starring Simon Baker, “Black’s Magic” starring Hal Linden and “The Magician” starring Bill Bixby?

    • Wordsmith says:

      As I understand it, the two older series were both more about vigilante magicians rather than law enforcement consultants – this sounds like it’ll be more of a procedural.
      It does sound quite a bit like The Mentalist, but mentalism and illusion are two separate skill sets. One involves reading and manipulating people, while the other is about actively fooling them with a planned trick.

      • KLS says:

        Deception sounds like White Collar to me.

      • One thing: the three shows MikeW mentions all involved characters who were professional stage magicians, and the first half of the premise for Deception suggests the same is true of “superstar magician” Cameron Black. But the mention of Black’s “powers of illusion” and “supernatural skills” makes the series sound something more like a cross between Dr. Strange and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and quite unlike the various stage-magic shows, whose protagonists often went to some lengths to debunk supernatural-appearing scams.

        And a nitpick: Hal Linden’s series was Blacke’s Magic, spelled with a silent e, which is perhaps less trivial than it might be considering the name of Deception‘s protagonist.

    • Brian says:

      Jonathan Creek too.

  2. Mark says:

    I want to support Chris Fedak and Martin Gero, but Deception sounds absolutely terrible.

  3. Ian says:

    LOL, Deception! I was already rolling my eyes at the generic as hell premise, but I ran my head into the wall after reading, “exec produced by BERLANTI AND GERO.” (!!!!!!!!!!)
    Hell to the no. Berlanti is just churning them out, and Gero ruined Blindspot.

  4. The Crossing is practically the same base plot as the Queen of Tearling trilogy. Spoilers: a group of people leave the USA via ships through a hole in time/possibly space (called The Crossing in the books) and they resettle and attempt to create a new society. And there is a conspiracy, natch. Only difference is that 250 years ago will be pre-Revolution era US… :/ Maybe i am reading too much into it…

  5. Wordsmith says:

    The Crossing sounds a little like Terra Nova without the dinosaurs.

  6. Nate says:

    Isn’t The Crossing pretty much the exact plot of a South Park episode?

  7. Molly says:

    The Crossing sounds like 2015’s The Refugees. Which was a BBC Worldwide thing made with Spain, I believe.

  8. Kathy says:

    Why do so many shows have to include a conspiracy as part of the story. A good series can stand on it’s on without this gimmick.

  9. Ally Oop says:

    The Crossing sounds like it had potential but I’d give Deception a swift pass as it sounds awful.

  10. herman1959 says:

    First, I love Greg Berlanti, but I kind of wish he would stop creating new shows and pay attention to the ones he already has. As for Deception, not another show about the FBI…NO.

    • herman1959 says:

      I don’t want to sound cranky, but it seems like every other new hour-long show is about time travel or the FBI/CIA and it’s getting old. Is it just me?

      • Bwine says:

        No, it isn’t just you! As soon as I read the character would be helping the FBI solve cases, I rolled my eyes so hard I got a headache!

  11. Mark says:

    I’m in for Deception!

  12. Liz Lemon says:

    The magic show sounds like God Cop 👮 from 30 rock

  13. Ram510 says:

    Deception sounds like all the other gifted individual parties with a cop series such as Mentalist, Lucifer, Castle ect. Been there, done that NEXT!!

  14. Tahoe Mike says:

    From those descriptions, both shows are DOA.