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FBI Magician Drama ‘Deception,’ Divorce Comedy ‘Splitting Up Together’ Ordered to Series at ABC

Variety logo Variety 5/13/2017 Daniel Holloway
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ABC has given series orders to drama “Deception” and single-camera comedy “Splitting Up Together.”

“Deception” follows Las Vegas magician Cameron Black (Jack Cutmore-Scott) who begins working as a “consulting illusionist” for the FBI when his career is ruined by scandal. He will use his talents in sleight of hand, illusion, and deception to help the government solve crimes that defy explanation.

The series hails from writer Chris Fedak, and executive producers Berlatni, Martin Gero, Sarah Schechter and David Nutter, who is attached to direct the pilot. Renowned magician and puzzle creator David Kwong will serve as co-producer. Warner Bros. Television is producing, along with Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House.

“Splitting Up Together,” based on a series from Denmark, tells the story of a couple whose marriage is reignited by their divorce. They still live in the same house, alternating weeks, with one living upstairs and doing the parenting while the other lives downstairs in the guest apartment. Jenna Fischer — best known for “The Office” — will play the always-prepared Lena, struggling to navigate a new life after her divorce from ex-husband Martin, whose laid-back approach to raising their three children appalls her. Oliver Hudson will play Martin, who is described as an athletic, easy-going kind of guy, who adjusts to his suddenly divorced life with hopeful optimism, but as a newly single parent, he can’t help but wonder what went wrong in his marriage.

“Splitting Up Together” is written by Emily Kapnek with a pilot directed by Dean Holland. Kapnek, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Mette Heeno, Mie Andreasen, and Hella Joof serve as executive producers. DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production and Kapnek’s Piece of Pie Productions are producing in association with Warner Bros. Television.

The two shows mark the latest orders from ABC for the 2017-2018 season. In addition to the revival of “American Idol,” the network has ordered Shondaland legal drama “For the People,” action drama “The Crossing,” Freddie Highmore’s “The Good Doctor,” the lighthearted hour-long series “The Gospel of Kevin,” buzzy comedy “The Mayor,” plus a sitcom from Zach Braff.

The series join previously renewed ABC comedies “Black-ish,” “Modern Family” (for two seasons), “American Housewife,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Speechless,” “The Goldbergs” (for two seasons), and “The Middle,” along with dramas “Once Upon a Time,” “Designated Survivor,” “Agents of SHIELD,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” “Scandal” had previously been renewed for Season 7, which will reportedly be the show’s last. The network has canceled “The Real O’Neals,” “Imaginary Mary,” “The Catch,” “Dr. Ken,” “Last Man Standing,” “American Crime,” and “Secrets and Lies.” ABC had previously canceled freshman dramas “Time After Time,” “Notorious,” and “Conviction.”

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