Penn & Teller: Fool Us

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Penn & Teller: Fool Us
P&T FU.png
Also known as Fool Us
Penn & Teller: Fool Us in Vegas
Genre
Created by
Presented by
Starring
  • Penn Jillette
  • Teller
  • Peter Adam Golden
  • Andrew Golder
Judges
  • Penn Jillette
  • Teller
Narrated by Dominic Byrne
Composer(s)
Country of origin United Kingdom
United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 24
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Andrew Golder
  • Peter Davey
  • Peter Adam Golden
Producer(s) Johnny Thompson
Location(s) Fountain Studios (season 1)
Penn & Teller Theater (season 2-)
Running time
  • approx. 45 minutes
  • approx. 65 minutes (pilot)
Production company(s) 1/17 Productions & September Films
Distributor DCD Rights[1]
Release
Original network ITV, STV, UTV (U.K.)
The CW (U.S.)
Picture format 1080i
Original release 18 June 2011 – present
External links
Website

Penn & Teller: Fool Us is a British-American television programme. Hosted by Jonathan Ross and filmed at Fountain Studios in London, England and the Rio All-Suites Hotel in Las Vegas, Fool Us is a magic competition in which magicians perform tricks in front of American magician-comedian duo Penn & Teller. If Penn & Teller cannot figure out how a trick was done, the magician or magicians who performed it win a five-star trip to Las Vegas to perform as the opening act in Penn & Teller's world-famous show, also at the Rio Hotel & Casino.[2]

It was announced on 28 June 2012 that ITV had cancelled the show, despite its averaging 4 million viewers, higher than the timeslot average.[3] After finding moderate ratings success in running the ITV-produced episodes during the summer of 2014, The CW ordered a second season of original episodes to air in 2015.[4] The second season was a ratings hit for The CW, giving the network its highest ratings in that time slot compared to the previous 5 years.[5] On August 11, 2015 the series was renewed for a third season by The CW.[6] Season 3 premiered on July 13, 2016,[7][8] now hosted by Alyson Hannigan.[9]

Production and format[edit]

The pilot of Fool Us was first commissioned by John Kaye Cooper, the controller of entertainment for ITV.[10] In February 2011, it was announced that due to good viewing figures, a series of eight episodes had been commissioned, and would be produced by September Films and 1/17 Productions.[11] The eight episodes were shot in a ten-day filming block, and began airing in June 2011.[12]

Each episode starts off with the introduction stating the purpose of the series. Penn and Teller come out and take their seat towards center stage, and hopeful magicians perform their acts in front of them with a live studio audience. After each performance, Penn and Teller privately confer and may examine any of the trick's props, while the host interviews the magicians. Penn and Teller then reveal if they know how the trick was performed, typically using cryptic language or writing down the method and presenting it privately to the magicians to confirm, as to avoid exposing the secrets behind the trick. If Penn and Teller are wrong, or cannot come up with how the trick was done, the magician wins the opportunity to later perform at one of Penn and Teller's Las Vegas shows. At the end of the episode, Penn and Teller perform a magic act of their own.

Episodes[edit]

Performers in yellow fooled Penn & Teller in the episode.

Season 1[edit]

No. in Series No. in Season Episode Title Air date Performers Type Nationality
1 Pilot How to Saw a Woman in Half 7 January 2011 Ali Cook close-up and stage magician British
Richard Bellars close-up and stage magician British
Michael Vincent close-up and stage magician British
John Archer magical comedy entertainer British
James More stage magician and illusionist British
Benjamin Earl illusionist British
ITV website exclusives Morgan & West close-up and stage magicians British
Damien O'Brien street magician British
Noel Qualter close-up magician British
2 1 Teller Sucks... Helium 18 June 2011 High Jinx illusionists and circus performers British
Jon Allen street magician British
Graham Jolley mind reader and mentalist British
3 2 Stab a Card, Any Card... 25 June 2011 Mark Shortland magical comedy entertainer British
Mathieu Bich card illusionist French
Young and Strange street stage illusionists British
Daniel Madison card illusionist British
4 3 Solid Goldfish 2 July 2011 Piff the Magic Dragon magical comedy entertainer British
Soma illusionist Hungarian
Alan Hudson close-up magician British
Damien O'Brien street magician British
5 4 Teller is a Blockhead 9 July 2011 Daniel Kramer illusionist British
Romany, the Diva of Magic burlesque dancer and magician British
Alan Rorrison close-up magician British
Richard Bellars illusionist British
6 5 Penn Gets Nailed 16 July 2011 Cubic Act illusionists French
Nick Einhorn mentalist British
Michael Vincent close-up and stage magician British
Morgan & West close-up and stage magicians British
7 6 The Magic of Polyester 23 July 2011 Gazzo street magician British
Colin McLeod mentalist Scottish
Keelan and Charlotte quick-change artists British
Brynolf & Ljung illusionists Swedish
8 7 A Bellyful of Needles 30 July 2011 Manuel Martinez illusionist "Cuban"[a]
Shawn Farquhar[b] close-up magician Canadian
Etienne Pradier card magician French
Chris Dugdale illusionist British
9 8 Water Tanks for the Memories 28 August 2011 Lee Hathaway cabaret act and close-up magician British
Jack Taperell close-up magician British
Laura London illusionist British
Paul & Martin Daniels renowned magicians British
Unaired segments Chris Cox mind reader British
James Brown stage magician British
Marc Oberon card magician British
David Masters illusionist British
Noel Qualter close-up magician British
David Jay illusionist British
  1. ^ Martinez presented himself as Cuban, but was outed as British by Penn & Teller following the conclusion of his act.
  2. ^ Although Penn & Teller saw Farquhar perform a deck switch, which they had previously decided would automatically mean a contestant did not fool them, they considered themselves fooled because they could not explain the essence of how Farquhar had performed his card trick.

Season 2[edit]

No. in Series No. in Season Episode Title Air date Performers Type Nationality
10 1 Phone-y Business July 6, 2015 Jon Armstrong close-up/card American
Xavier Mortimer illusionist French
The Shocker mentalist/illusionist American
Steven Brundage close-up magician American
11 2 The Invisi-Ball Thread July 13, 2015 Mike Hammer illusionist American
Leon and Romy illusionist/Card American/Australian
Shin Lim close-up magician American
Peter Boie illusionist American
12 3 Shoot to Kill July 20, 2015 Brian Brushwood close-up magician American
Simon Pierro illusionist German
Handsome Jack (John Lovick) illusionist American
Kyle Knight & Mistie illusionist American
13 4 Knife of the Party July 27, 2015 Austin Janik close-up American
Amazing Allison mentalist American
Mac King illusionist American
Norman Ng close-up magician American
14 5 Mission Impossi-Ball August 3, 2015 Bill Cook close-up magician American
Wes Barker illusionist Canadian
Matthew Holtzclaw close-up magician American
David Regal illusionist American
15 6 Now THAT'S Bunny! August 10, 2015 Jay Sankey close-up magician Canadian
Greg Wilson illusionist American
Trigg Watson close-up magician American
Jen Kramer close-up magician American
16 7 Penn's Favorite Card Trick August 17, 2015
Kostya Kimlat close-up magician Ukrainian-American
Frederick Falk close-up magician American
Chris Funk card/stage magician Canadian
Nate Dendy stage magician American
17 8 Teller Plays with a Full Deck August 24, 2015 Blake Vogt close-up magician American
Joshua Jay close-up magician American
Levent comedy magician American
Ben Seidman illusionist American
18 9 Star Spangled Magic August 31, 2015 Riley Siegler close-up magician American
Jade illusionist Chinese-American
Ran'd Shine close-up magician American
David Roth coin magician American
19 10 Where There's Smoke There's Magic[13] September 14, 2015 Joel Meyers & Spidey mentalist American
Rick Lax close-up/card magician American
Marcus Eddie illusionist American
Bruce Gold comedy magician American
20 11 Teller Deflowers a Shadow[13] September 21, 2015 Scott Alexander & Puck illusionist American
Eric Jones coin magician American
Mark Calabrese close-up/card American
Paul Vigil mentalist American
21 12 Penn & Teller Ring Someone's Neck[13] September 28, 2015 Victor & Diamond illusionists American
Francis Menotti mentalist American
Nash Fung close-up magician Chinese-American
Chad Juros rope magician American
22 13 An Egg-Cellent Trick[13] October 5, 2015 Derek Hughes close-up/card magician American
Reuben Moreland illusionist American
Suzanne close-up magician American
Jared Kopf mentalist American

Season 3[edit]

No. in Series No. in Season Episode Title Air date Performers Type Nationality
23 1 Won't Get Fooled Again...? July 13, 2016 Shawn Farquhar mentalist Canadian
Michael Kent comedy magician American
Nathan Burton illusionist American
Nathan Coe Marsh close-up magician American
24 2 Jesse Eisenberg Gets Carded July 20, 2016 Brett Loudermilk sword swallower American
Dan Harlan close-up/card magician American
Ryan Joyce illusionist Canadian
Kyle Eschen comedy/close-up magician American

Reception[edit]

Readers of ukgameshows.com named it the second best new game show of 2011 in their "Hall of fame" poll.[14]

International broadcast[edit]

  • In Australia, the show commenced airing on ABC1 each Saturday at 9:25 pm from 1 October 2011.[1][15]
  • In New Zealand, the show commenced airing on ChoiceTV each Saturday at 7:30 pm from 28 April 2012.[16]
  • The CW acquired the series for broadcast in the United States, where it premiered on 30 July 2014. The pilot episode was trimmed to one hour (including commercial breaks) for its CW airing.[17][18]
  • The series has also been sold to BBC Entertainment in Scandinavia, Africa, and Latin America, to screen at a date yet to be announced.[1]
  • The series has been aired in India by Comedy Central India.
  • In Canada, the series aired on Bite TV before it was rebranded to Makeful on 24 August 2015.
  • Channel 5 bought the UK rights to the second series and premiered it on 6 March 2016.[19]

U.S. ratings[edit]

Season 1

Episode Air date A18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (Millions)
Stab a Card, Any Card… July 30, 2014 0.5/2 1.75[20]
How to Saw a Woman in Half August 6, 2014 0.5/2 1.45[21]
A Bellyful of Needles August 13, 2014 0.5/2 1.68[22]
Solid Goldfish August 20, 2014 0.5/2 1.69[23]
Water Tanks for the Memories August 27, 2014 0.5/2 1.59[24]
Teller is a Blockhead September 3, 2014 0.7/2 2.07[25]
Penn Gets Nailed September 10, 2014 0.5/2 1.73[26]
The Magic of Polyester September 17, 2014 0.5/2 1.58[27]
Teller Sucks... Helium September 24, 2014 0.5/2 1.51[28]

Season 2

Episode Air date A18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (Millions)
Phone-y Business July 6, 2015 0.5/2 1.66[29]
The Invisi-Ball Thread July 13, 2015 0.5/2 2.01[30]
Shoot to Kill July 20, 2015 0.5/2 1.81[31]
Knife of the Party July 27, 2015 0.6/3 2.24[32]
Mission Impossi-Ball August 3, 2015 0.5/2 2.06[33]
Now THAT'S Bunny! August 10, 2015 0.6/2 2.35[34]
Penn's Favorite Card Trick August 17, 2015 0.5/2 2.10[35]
Teller Plays with a Full Deck August 24, 2015 0.5/2 1.87[36]
Star Spangled Magic August 31, 2015 0.6/2 2.11[37]
Where There's Smoke There's Magic September 14, 2015 0.5/2 1.46[38]
Teller Deflowers a Shadow September 21, 2015 0.3/1 1.15[39]
Penn & Teller Ring Someone's Neck September 28, 2015 0.4/1 1.34[40]
An Egg-Cellent Trick October 5, 2015 0.4/1 1.36[41]

Season 3

Episode Air date A18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (Millions)
Won't Get Fooled Again...? July 13, 2016 0.4/2 1.46[42]
Jesse Eisenberg Gets Carded July 20, 2016 0.3/1 1.21[43]
Penn & Teller Have a Blast July 27, 2016 TBA TBA
Penn Plays with Fire August 3, 2016 TBA TBA

International versions[edit]

  • In 2011 it was reported that the format had been sold to Ukraine broadcaster STB, who would produce a local version.[1]
  • In 2012 the show was licensed to Israel's Channel 2. The show was renamed Mi Yapil Et Ha Master ("Who Can Fool The Master?"), Penn & Teller were asked to be the judging magicians but they had to decline due to other commitments. Max Maven took their place.[44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Roxborough, Scott (2011-11-05). "Penn & Teller to Take Brit Magic Show Format 'Fool Us' to Ukraine". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  2. ^ "ITV Announces Commission of Penn & Teller: Fool Us". ITV. 9 December 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  3. ^ Alex Fletcher (28 Jun 2012). "'Magicians', 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' axed by BBC, ITV". TV News. Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  4. ^ "‘America’s Next Top Model’, ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’ + ‘Masters of Illusion’ Renewed by the CW for New Seasons - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  5. ^ "The CW's 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' is the Most Watched Program in its Timeslot Since 2010". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved 2015-07-15. 
  6. ^ "‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ & ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’ Renewed for New Cycles by The CW - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  7. ^ Kissell, Rick. "CW’s ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us,’ Other Alternative Series Get Premiere Dates". Variety.com. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' Moves to New Premiere Date - Wednesday, July 13". The Futon Critic. June 20, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Alyson Hannigan to host Penn & Teller: Fool Us in season 3 - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "Penn and Teller: Fool Us" (Press release). ITV. 7 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  11. ^ "ITV orders Ross 'Penn & Teller' series". Digital Spy. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-22. ITV spokesperson confirmed to DS this afternoon that the series had been ordered 
  12. ^ Penn Jillette (1 June 2011). "▶ Fool Us: Backstage Magic Secrets REVEALED!" (video). Penn Point. YouTube. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Shows A-Z - penn & teller: fool us on cw - TheFutonCritic.com". thefutoncritic.com. 
  14. ^ "Poll of the Year 2011". ukgameshows.com. 
  15. ^ "ABC1 Programming Airdate - Penn & Teller: Fool Us (episode one)". ABC Television Publicity. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Penn & Teller: Fool Us ChoiceTV Promo". YouTube. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Penn & Teller: Fool Us to air on US Television following acquisition by The CW". DCD Rights. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  18. ^ Kissell, Rick (17 April 2014). "CW Sets Summer Timeslots for 'Backpackers', Other New Shows". Variety (Penske Business Media). Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Channel 5 Acquires UK Rights To The CW's 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us'". TVWise. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  20. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘Big Brother’ Adjusted Up; ‘Taxi Brooklyn’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  21. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘Big Brother’ Adjusted Up; ‘Taxi Brooklyn’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  22. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘Big Brother’ & ‘America’s Got Talent’ Adjusted Up - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  23. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Adjusted Up; ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’ & ‘Taxi Brooklyn’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  24. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘Extant’ & ‘Taxi Brooklyn’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  25. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent’ & ‘Big Brother’ Adjusted Up - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  26. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ & ‘Extant’ Adjusted Up; ‘Taxi Brooklyn’, ‘America’s Got Talent’ & ‘Under the Lights’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  27. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Adjusted Up; ‘The Mysteries of Laura’, ‘Extant’ & ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  28. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘The Middle’, ‘The Goldbergs’, ‘Modern Family’, ‘Law and Order: SVU’, & ‘Red Band Society’ Adjusted Up - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  29. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Adjusted Up; ‘The Island’ & ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  30. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Adjusted Up; ‘Running Wild With Bear Grylls’ & ‘Cedric’s Barber Battle’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  31. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Adjusted Up; ‘The Whispers’ & ‘Running Wild With Bear Grylls’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  32. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘The Bachelorette’ Adjusted Up; ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’, ‘Cedric’s Barber Battle’, ‘Running Wild With Bear Grylls’, & ‘After the Final Rose’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  33. ^ Bibel, Sara (August 4, 2015). "Monday Final Ratings: 'American Ninja Warrior' Adjusted Up; 'Running Wild With Bear Grylls' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Adjusted Up; ‘Significant Mother’ & ‘Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  35. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Adjusted Up; ‘Penn & Teller Fool Us’, ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’, ‘Significant Mother’ & ‘Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  36. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘Running Wild With Bear Grylls’, ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’, ‘Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise’, ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ & ‘Significant Mother’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  37. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘Running Wild With Bear Grylls’, Adjusted Down, No Adjustments to 'Whose Line is it Anyway' - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  38. ^ "Monday Final Nationals: ESPN Wins Night with 'MNF' Doubleheader, 'DWTS' Returns at Similar Levels, 'Ninja Warrior' Delivers Best Finale Figures - TV Media Insights - TV Ratings & News - Network TV Show Reviews and Daily Ratings". TV Media Insights – TV Ratings & News – Network TV Show Reviews and Daily Ratings. 
  39. ^ "Monday Final Ratings: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Adjusted Up; ‘Significant Mother’, ‘Life in Pieces’ & ‘Penn & Teller’ Adjusted Down - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers. 
  40. ^ Dixon, Dani. "Monday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' + 'The Voice' Adjusted Up; 'Castle', 'Life in Pieces' & 'Dancing With the Stars' Adjusted Down". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  41. ^ Porter, Rick. "Monday final ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' and 'The Voice' adjusted up, 'Blindspot' and 'Castle' adjusted down". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  42. ^ Porter, Rick (July 14, 2016). "Wednesday final ratings: ESPYs, ‘Big Brother’ and ‘AGT’ adjust up; ‘The Night Shift,’ ‘Wayward Pines’ adjust down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  43. ^ Porter, Rick (July 21, 2016). "Wednesday final ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent’ and ‘Whose Line’ adjust up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  44. ^ Teller's twitter, 2 February 2015

External links[edit]