Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Gaunt, flowing-haired illusionist Criss Angel, whose act combined Vegas-style prestidigitation with spectacular public stunts, spontaneous audience participation, Messianic mysticism and Goth-rock music, was the star of this half-hour cable series, advertised by home network A&E as TV's first weekly magic show in four decades. A practicing magician from age six, Angel had honed self-promotion to a fine art; whether on or off the job, he seemed to be perpetually surrounded by cameras which recorded his every move, even when visiting his family. Angel's series offered at least one awe-inspiring illusion per episode, running the gamut from levitation to self-immolation. Evidently there was no place on earth that he could not perform; he was as apt to pull an innocent bystander off the street for a "spontaneous" bit of legerdemain as he was to climb down the 55-story side of Las Vegas' Aladdin Hotel. According to network publicity, Angel utilized no camera trickery or special movie effects; he did, however, boast a large and ubiquitous entourage of loyal disciples who always managed to show up just as he went into one of his routines. Other than his pet black cat Minx, the series had no other "regulars" except Angel, though guest magicians appeared from time to time. A spinoff of a 2002 one-shot special, Criss Angel Mindfreak debuted July 20, 2005.