Spin, the elite ping pong club in New York City, recently began filming an episodic ping pong documentary television show—under the working title The Magnus Effect—which focuses on the characters who train and frequent Spin New York. The title of the show refers to a phenomenon in which an object such as a table tennis ball spinning through the air creates a whirlpool of air around itself, and experiences a force perpendicular to the line of motion. The show will initially follow some of the top junior players and Olympic hopefuls, including Michael Landers, the current U.S. men's singles table tennis champion. Later episodes will likely showcase table tennis personalities Soo Yeon Lee, Wally Green, and Marty “the money player” Reisman, among others. Susan Sarandon, a co-owner of Spin, will narrate the show and BBC America has signed on as the production company.
This could be a really excellent television show if Spin avoids some of the trappings of other reality T.V. shows. Hopefully they will take a cue from Planet Ping Pong, a documentary on table tennis by Robert Murphy that aired on BBC4 in 2006. Since BBC America is the production company for The Magnus Effect, my hopes are high.
References and Sources:
Susan Sarandon on Her Upcoming Reality Show by Kate Lord
June 25, 2010, Niteside
SPiN and the New Ping-Pong-trepreneurs By Alyssa Young
June 30, 2010, Conde Nast Travel
Spin City? Ping-Pong-trepreneurs Try TV, Franchise by Irina Aleksander
March 24, 2010, The New York Observer