truTV ’s new series “The Carbonaro Effect” premiered May 15, 10pm.

Take one part “Candid Camera” and mix in a bit of “ David Blaine’s Street Magic” and you’ll have truTV ’s new series “The Carbonaro Effect” (premiered May 15, 10pm). It works well, with magician Michael Carbonaro’s improv background making his pranks—from grocery store customer buying a carton of eggs with a chick inside to unbelievable sleight of hand at a package and shipping store—humorous and amazing. The show’s name is fitting as Carbonaro’s tricks often have the after-effect of leaving subjects open-mouthed and befuddled. It’s a magic show, where no one realizes that magic is happening. He’s an unabashed fan of Allen Funt. “No one would have any hidden camera show if it wasn’t for Allen Funt. Particularly for me, what I love about Allen Funt and what I’m trying to do with this show, is the friendly and fun spirit,” said Carbonaro, who might be familiar for his recurring roles on numerous shows, including “The Newsroom” and “Happily Divorced.” Viewers aren’t laughing at the prankees, but with them—and are also left trying to figure out exactly what happened. “I am having fun with people… showing them how funny we all are as people together. Adding the magic element to that is like being able to hold a mirror up and show how unbelievable it is that people are willing to believe in the impossible,” he said. One example, he pulled a giant watermelon out of a thin envelope in front of woman, and she never batted an eye. Or there’s the time, he convinced a science teacher that he turned a toy into a live frog by injecting some sort of ooze. “I revealed to her it was a hidden camera show, and she would not and could not believe it,” Carbonaro recalls. “Convincing her that a frog just developed out of ooze? No problem. Convincing her she’s on a hidden camera show? Absolutely impossible.” Keep a look out for him next time magic moments happens in your everyday life. – Amy Maclean

“The Americans,” season 2 finale, Wed, 10p, FX. It’s fitting this excellent series’ most pertinent plot lines mix business and very personal issues. While “The Americans” ostensibly is about Cold War spy games, it’s largely a character study and a look at marriage and family, with espionage as an important element. The season-ending ep ties up loose ends, one with a major twist. In the best tradition of television thrillers, the finale creates tension for the coming season by threatening to plunge more of the Jennings clan into the family business. — “Silicon Valley,” Sun, 10:00p, HBO. In this excellent series spoofing high-tech culture, the Pied Piper team brings its barely finished demo to a competition where past indiscretions of the bombastic yet lovable Erlich ( T.J. Miller) might influence the judging and ruin the company’s chances for survival. The parody of the tech competition itself is effective. This first of a two-part arch leads to a satisfying season finale 2 weeks from now (June 1), as the team has to quickly adjust its presentation. — “The American Bible Challenge,” season 3 debut, Thurs, 8p, GSN. The bible quiz is the net’s top-rated original—the series debuted in ’12 with 1.7mln viewers. It returns with new games, including Star Wars references, to question contestants’ knowledge of the good book. – Seth Arenstein

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