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August 30, 2015


Pet Psychic Encounters goes to the dogs

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 21st 2010 8:30AM
You too can have a Pet Psychic Encounter with Corky.I saw a stand-up comic a few years back that noticed the weakness in the whole "pet psychic" premise. Whenever the animal clairvoyant -- someone who is supposedly able to read pets' minds -- enters a home to "sense the thoughts" of a house pet, they always ask the same question first:

"What's your pet's name?"

What? Couldn't Fido or Mr. Fluffy-Kins give you a psychic business card?

With the prime time arrival of Pet Psychic Encounters on Saturday nights over at Animal Planet, we have yet another show that exists comfortably in the realm of the unprovable. You can't disprove that series host Sonya Fitzpatrick is a pet psychic because an Alsatian is very unlikely to hop up and scream, "No, I did not say I prefer dry food to leftover meatloaf! I object, sir!" You can't prove a negative. The same rule holds up for the endless march of ghost shows on "reality" TV.

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Never change, Sylvia Browne

by Eliot Glazer, posted Aug 2nd 2009 7:02PM
sylvia browneSylvia Browne has been around forever. That's not to say she's immortal (although, hey, maybe she'll argue you on that one), but the self-proclaimed clairvoyant is a longtime fixture of the talk TV circuit, having appeared on many a Montel, Sally Jesse Raphael, and Larry King Live. As a skeptic might expect from someone who claims to see ghosts and spirits and all that celestial hooey (no offense, believers!), Browne is, indeed, quite a character.

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The Dead Zone: Exile

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 27th 2007 8:44AM
johnny and alex(S06E11) This episode didn't tick me off the way last week's did (and several more have this season). It actually had a context, some neatly turned connections, and not too much obnoxious product placement. The only thing I really noticed was the closeup of Johnny's Tylenol bottle and I groaned and thought, "Here we go again," but there must not be many places to use your Visa card in Indiana, because it wasn't bad from there. I did go take two Excedrin, though, just to counteract the Tylenol ad.

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Unsolved Mysteries returning to television

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 26th 2007 2:44PM

Unsolved MysteriesUnsolved Mysteries could probably be considered one of the first "reality" shows to really hit big, though I'm not comfortable with that categorization, because it was probably closer to news or Cops-like documentary than the reality shows we have now.

In fact, if you look at the old episodes, they seem almost quaint, even though they were talking about murders, abuductions, disappearances, curses, and UFO sightings. But there was a real non-sensationalist aura about the show, and you got the feeling they really wanted to get to the bottom of each case.

Now the show is coming back...to HBO!

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Medium renewed for a fourth season

by Bob Sassone, posted May 7th 2007 4:20PM

MediumMedium has become the Yes, Dear of "psychic who sees ghost genre and helps people," a show that not too many seem to talk about but gets pretty good ratings and gets renewed every year. See also: JAG.

NBC has given the Patricia Arquette show a fourth season, a week before the official fall 2007 lineup is announced at the network's upfront presentation. NBC President Kevin Reilly praised the show as only a network executive can (and while you read the praise, replace the title Medium with any show that NBC has canceled in the past 6 months).

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Coming soon: a reality show for psychics

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 4th 2007 2:40PM

Are You Psychic?Now there's two words you hardly ever see if the same sentence: "psychics" and "reality."

But get ready for a new reality show that will attempt to find that most gifted psychic in America! The show, Gifted, is going to be produced by Friends co-creator/producer Marta Kauffman. Each psychic will go through a series of tests - mind reading, Tarot card reading, other things that psychics do well - and the winner will win...well, I have no idea what they'll win. What should the winner of an American Idol for psychics win? A million dollar contract to do...what exactly? There will be a panel of expert (?) judges and the contestants will probably all live together in a house, a la Big Brother. Or, in this case, The Surreal Life.

Of course, I don't really understand the whole concept. If these people are truly psychic, shouldn't they know ahead of time whether they're going to win or not?

[via TV Tattle]

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Johnny Carson busts Uri Geller - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 28th 2006 10:46AM

Johnny CarsonI remember seeing this the night that it happened, in 1973: Uri Geller trying to perform some psychic "feats" on The Tonight Show, and host Johnny Carson (a magician himself and someone with a low tolerance for hucksters and hoaxes) making sure he can't fool anyone with a trick by changing the items on the table. This is a slightly edited version, but it's very telling. Geller actually gets a little irritated at Carson, at one point even mentioning that Carson was supposed to ask him the questions they agreed on before the show. Doc Severinsen sits there waiting for Geller to do something amazing, but it never comes.

That's magician and professional debunker James Randi narrating the clip. I think this is part of a larger documentary that was show on television several years ago.

[via Boing Boing]

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Psych is highest rated new cable show of the year

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 11th 2006 2:19PM

PsychI completely forgot to watch this show (even after Rich Keller had a preview of the pilot episode and liked it), but I guess I was one of the few that forgot. The show got the highest cable ratings of the year for a new series. The USA show airs on Friday nights at 10 and got an average of 6.1 million viewers for its premiere (Monk did pretty well too in the new 9pm time slot).

You can watch the premiere ep online here, as well as check out blogs from the characters and play Psych games.

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New life for Spielberg on SciFi

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 13th 2006 1:37PM
Steven Spielberg is once again bringing original programming to the Sci Fi Channel. This time, it's a 12-hour miniseries called Nine Lives. The drama features nine characters who are mourning loved ones, and discover they can reunite with the dead through near-death experiences. Sounds pretty freaky, eh? Sci Fi's deal with Spielberg follows the wildly successful collaboration that spawned the series, Taken, in 2003. Les Bohem, the guy who wrote the Taken series, will also write Nine Lives.

Also picked up by SciFi:

  • Who wants to be a Superhero?, a reality series that follows Stan Lee as he puts contestants through challenges to help them find their super strength;
  • Medium at Large, a reality series that features psychic Char Margolis;
  • The Gift, reality series that follows people in boot camp for intuitives;
  • The Bridge, a comedy-drama about a group of cynical souls trapped in purgatory and the good deeds they must do to get out.

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