Russia joins Geller ‘Phenomenon’

Eight episodes of the show will air

BERLIN — Spoon bender extraordinaire Uri Geller continues his world “Phenomenon” format tour with a new show slated for TV Channel Russia.

The Russian broadcaster will air a total of eight episodes of the format, likely to be called “Fenomen,” in primetime on Saturdays beginning in August.

As in previous incarnations of the show, Geller will appear as juror and mentor as he tries to find Russians with near-magical slight-of-hand prowess.

The format, which originated as “The Successor” on Israeli broadcaster Keshet, has been adapted by NBC in the U.S., Star TV in Turkey and by ProSiebenSat.1-owned channels ProSieben, SBS 6 and TV2 in Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary, respectively.

Known as “The Next Uri Geller” in Germany, the show garnered an impressive 17.3% average market share, and ProSieben has announced that a second season is in the works for 2009.

The skein has come under fire from magicians around the world who have taken issue with Geller’s claims of being a real paranormalist. Geller even found himself challenged to prove his abilities by his own co-host on NBC, illusionist Criss Angel.

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