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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Paranormal TV

We spoke a few days back as to how the Occult and general paranormal has all but taken over the television airwaves the past several years. Actually, we were discussing the prevalence throughout all entertainment, but TV was a particular focus.

While even scripted TV shows have tackled the matter, including "straight" shows that have had a plot or story about them here and there (such as the Law & Order and CSI franchises, for example), the paranormal has made a particular impact on reality TV.

We have had all sorts of reality scenarios and concepts lately, with a real focus on ghost hunting and psychic phenomena, not to mention the break-out hit, Destination Truth, which focuses on all things cryptozoological. There have also been a lot of specials dealing with ufology, legend/lore (Atlantis), and more "weird" stuff.

The 2008 season brings an even greater amount of likeminded fare across the channels, with A&E getting in on the ghost hunting with their Paranormal State (next Monday, the 10th). Lifetime is bringing back Speaking with the Dead and Sci-Fi Channel is adding Ghost Hunters International (featuring the uniquely-gifted Brian Harnois as lead investigator) to their roster this January. History Channel is continuing with new episodes of MonsterQuest and Sci-Fi Channel's Destination Truth returns this January. Also on History Channel this February comes UFO Hunters.

CourtTV is changing its name to Tru TV, a reality-based network (aren't they all nowadays?), so depending on the popularity of these shows, you can look for both it and Discovery to jump on the bandwagon sometime along the way. And obviously, if any of these are breakout hits, you can expect the parent network to beef-up its paranormal fare. History Channel has the most and its famous History's Mysteries series and the like may once again become ubiquitous on the network.

While some of these shows are destined to fail, the WGA strike shows no signs of ending anytime soon, so we can expect good runs of even the most pedestrian of these, with or without retooling at the midway-point.

All in all, while this was a short fall season for scripted shows (there are only 4 or 5 of those, anyway), it looks to be a good season for all things Odd!

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