Every time I've written something bemoaning the arrival of another such show, I think it has to be over soon. There can't be another hour of clods stumbling around in night vision and reacting to sights and sounds the audience doesn't get to experience.
But, they keep coming. They keep finding nothing. But, evidently, people keep watching them. Now, we have Ghost Intervention -- running through December. The 4-part docu-series from TLC "chronicles a case manager and a team of women with psychic abilities as they try to help different families who are struggling with paranormal activity in their homes."
Please don't misunderstand me -- since I've gone off on this topic before. I'm not saying ghosts don't exist. I'm not saying there's no afterlife. I don't begrudge any scientific investigation into parapsychology or realms described as paranormal. I'd just like any of the endless march of "ghost-based" shows to dig up one scintilla of proof that they found something and, therefore, deserve to be on TV every week.
The latest entry is Syfy's Ghost Hunter's Academy -- sort of Most Haunted meets The Rookies from the 70s. Each week, ghost hunting "professors" (the show's conceit, not mine) Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango welcome first-time paranormal investigators onto The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) team.
Yet, every week, paranormal investigation shows like Ghost Hunters or Paranormal State hit the air and unveil the whole pile of absolute squat they found. Now, there's a new contender in the "Hey! Look! We found pretty much nothing!" category with the Discovery Channel's Ghost Lab.
Each week two thick slabs of Texas beef named Brad and Barry Klinge (right) take their Everyday Paranormal investigation team out into the wild haunted yonder. They come armed with their traveling "ghost lab" -- a 24-foot car hauler "capable of providing 200,000 watts of electricity to power audio, video and photo analysis stations; flat-screen televisions and an interactive touch-screen smartboard."
Tentatively titled "Air," the premiere will follow a research team that gets cut off from Earth after boarding an Ancient ship with failing life support and a steampunk Stargate. The premiere will feature appearances by franchise vets Richard Dean Anderson and Michal Shanks and will, of course, introduce us to the new crew, including Robert Carlyle, David Blue and Lou Diamond Phillips. (Does anyone else out there have the feeling that LDP is gonna bite it, Robert Patrick style, in the premiere?)
Syfy also announced fall premiere dates for returning shows, including Sanctuary and Destination Truth. Check out the schedule:
The network is expanding the popular paranormal reality show into "dozens of hours of programming" with renewals of some current spin-offs and pick-ups of even more spin-offs. At the rate they keep spinning this show off, it's going to have its own family tree by the end of the decade.
Right now there's the original Ghost Hunters and its international cousin, the cleverly named Ghost Hunters International. Both of those will return next season with new episodes.
Well, this was probably inevitable. With the success of A&E's Paranormal State hanging over the heads of the SciFi Channel, the network has given a thumbs-up to a new Ghost Hunters pilot that will join the original as well as Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunter Babies. All right, there is no such thing as Ghost Hunter Babies, but it would be a good idea. Think about it for a moment -- the babies would literally be peeing and pooping in their pants when they saw or felt something ghost-like rather than just saying that they did.
The new pilot is called Ghost Hunters: College Edition. In this edition the hunters would be, you guessed it, college students. Instead of teaming up and performing investigations on their own -- like they do on Paranormal State -- these students would team up with professional investigators to examine claims of paranormal events across the globe. In other words, look for some cross-overs between this show and its two older siblings.
I understand that Ghost Hunters is one of the SciFi Channel's hits, but isn't the network heading towards the point of saturation by adding a third series? With three series you begin to parse out smaller and smaller groups of viewers to each show, which brings down the popularity of the original. Something to think about, network executives, when you decide on giving a green light to Ghost Hunters: The Animated Series.
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