In 2005, Criss Angel became the creator, director, and executive producer of the A&E Network show Criss Angel Mindfreak, and had entered production in January. Seasons 1 and 2 were filmed at The Aladdin in Las Vegas, with Season 3 at the Luxor Las Vegas. Premiering on July 20, 2005, the show's illusions included walking on water, levitating, walking up the side of Luxor Hotel (in the light of 39 focused lamps that can be seen from space), floating between two buildings, causing a Lamborghini to disappear, surviving in an exploding C4 Crate, cutting himself in half in full view of an audience and getting run over by a steamroller while lying on a bed of broken glass.
The first season of the show was released on DVD after it completed its on-screen run. The show also released its Halloween special, along with two special episodes, on an additional one-disc DVD offering. The show returned for a second season in May 2006, and was named one of the best shows of the summer by the Tulsa World newspaper. The show was renewed for a third season in July 2006; as of that third season the show was A&E's number one rated show, with more than 1.5 million viewers. That year he promoted the show with a performance where he was suspended within a cube encased in concrete above Times Square, escaping from the block before it was set to crash to the ground. Magic effects creator Sean Field stated of Angel this year that, "Criss Angel is the biggest name in magic since Houdini. No other magician has invaded pop culture to the degree that Criss Angel has. He has changed the image of magic and made it cool." The show became one of the most popular foreign television shows in parts of Asia, including China.
The television show was noted as a part of the mid-2000s films, television, and books that drove a resurgence of the public popularity of magic. Criss Angel Mindfreak was the first weekly magic television show to air in forty years. Daily Variety reviewed the premiere writing, "The stunts alone are impressive. But what makes the show fascinating are the down-home touches in which we see the kid from New York, who first honed his magic skills at the age of 6. Keenly aware of the camera at all times, Angel manages to offer some personality, especially where family is involved. Viewers follow the illusionist as he contemplates new and more dangerous stunts, while his crew, including his often-fretful brothers, offer insight as to what, other than ego, drives someone in this profession." The show ran from 2005 until 2010, at which point he had been featured for more hours on primetime television than any other magician in history.