1 9 8 6 (USA)
13 x 60 minute episodes
Alexander Blacke (Hal Linden) was a debonair magician who liked to solve crimes with the help of his conman father, Leonard (Harry Morgan), who was also a master of disguise.
After Barney Miller ended, Linden didn’t want to do another series as most of the things offered to him were very similar in personality to that of Miller. He took the role of Blacke because it was different, Blacke was outgoing, and the storylines were exciting.
After Morgan’s series After MASH was cancelled, he intended to do little acting and certainly had no desire to work on a series again, but when he was sent the script for the show, he loved it as it was different from anything he had ever worked on before.
Blacke’s Magic was created by Richard Levinson, William Link and Peter S. Fischer, the team that delivered Murder, She Wrote. Jim Steinmeyer (who created many of Canadian magician Doug Henning’s illusions) came up with the illusions for the series.
Blacke’s understanding of illusion and deception often proved useful in figuring out how seemingly impossible crimes had been committed.
Most of the magic tricks performed in the series were real, performed by star Hal Linden, who had no previous experience as an illusionist.
Reminiscent of the old 70s Bill Bixby series, The Magician, the series was meant to be a mid-season replacement, but NBC had shows that were doing so well in the ratings that finding a place for Blacke’s Magic was difficult.
The show ran from 5 January to 7 May 1986 with a grand total of 13 episodes.