"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.
Unsolved 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!
Medium 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).
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]
I 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]
I 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.
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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