Paranormal television is such a hot or miss venture: trying to entertain the masses with so much competition out there. On any given night there is that opportunity to gather information that will make one savvy to the ways of how a paranormal investigation is conducted, that by the end of a week of viewing you will be guaranteed to be an expert in the realm of shadows and mysteries. Or will you?
Television, after all, boils down to ratings; no ratings…well, eventually no show. It all comes down to how the viewer bonds with those in front of the camera, and at the end of the day—how believable is it? Or for that matter, how entertaining? Entertainment many times wins out over believability.
Paranormal themed reality shows come and go based on these factors. And it is you—the viewer—that will ultimately determine its success or failure. Here are a few shows that will return in 2015:
The Dead Files:
Retired NYPD homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi and physical medium Amy Allan return for another season of assisting clients with paranormal problems. They approach each case from two very different perspectives and talents, meeting together in the final reveal where they lay it all out for the bewildered clients.
The show premièred in September of 2011 on the Travel Channel, with the filming for the upcoming season seven commencing this past August.
Allan’s over the top dramatics and facial contortions during her initial walk through of a client’s home often makes my head want to explode. Cameraman, assistant, and house cleaner prior to her arrival, Matthew Anderson, is also Allan’s ex-husband. Awkward! Many times during the client reveal DiSchiavi will shoot Allan a look after her opinion that is just priceless. All and all, entertaining fare.
This series premiered on September 7, 2011 and Syfy Channel has renewed it for a fourth season in 2015 for a 13 episode run. The show deals with first hand accounts of supernatural encounters featuring a cast of relative unknowns. Of interesting note, that while an American documentary style reality show, it is put together by a British production company.
Regardless, it has found its niche in the paranormal community of television viewers and is currently ranked as Syfy’s #3 most watched series.
The Tennessee Wraith Chasers are recruited for a second season on the job and ready to rumble with ghoulish spirits as they explore some of the countries most frightening asylums, sanitariums, and mental hospitals.
Returning in the spring of 2015 on the Destination America Channel, new episodes began film production in December of 2014. The first season’s premiere on September 7, 2011, and with its relatively short run only to October, captured the network’s top ratings for that period.
Saddle up and take the ride!
The Haunting of….
This series, hosted by Kim Russo, deals with the stories of various celebrities and their paranormal encounters. It has, in effect, replaced the cancelled series Celebrity Ghost Stories, which only just goes to show that celebrities are not immune to unexplainable occurrences that swirl just beneath the surface of our hectic daily lives.
The season finale was November 15, 2014, and the show has been shuffled from the Biography Channel to its new home, the Lifetime Movie Network.
Shuffling is never a good sign….
Our good buddy Josh Gates rises from the ashes of his cancelled Syfy series Destination Truth to reincarnate into this new venture produced by the Travel Channel. And once again he will be tasked with investigating iconic mysteries as he travels across the globe. Good move Travel Channel—keep this man working!
Gates has never had a problem of humorously poking fun at himself, even though in the past he has had a poor history of retaining female cohorts for any period of time. However, this news is a positive for those who have enjoyed his past antics on network television. One internet blogger heartedly agrees, stating “Doing what he does best—traveling and finding out the facts.”
With his employer now being the Travel Channel it is highly unlikely he will be making guest appearances on the Syfy Channel anytime in the near future, if ever. No chumming with Jason, Steve or Tango. That is only their loss.
The series premiere will debut on Thursday, January 8, 2015, at 9:00 p.m. with him investigating the disappearance of pilot Amelia Earhart in Fiji. Yes…it may not always be about ghosts, but it will prove to be entertaining nonetheless.
And shows whose future is in question:
Six episodes made their run on the Destination America Channel in September and October of 2014. Seemingly stable members of the Amish community recounted their personal paranormal encounters believed, by them, to be a result of violating their strict religious laws.
Now here is a twist in the tired onslaught of paranormal themed shows that could actually get me watching them again. But alas…the future doesn’t look so promising. The jury’s still out on this one.
Again, another Destination America offering, premiering on October 6, 2014 with a six episode run and a future that is presently uncertain. The show dealt with paranormal investigators who had went through near death experiences. The show featured Chad Lindberg and John E.L. Tenney. Originally its time slot was on Sunday night. It was moved to Thursday night mid stream. Never a good sign….
An interesting side note is that Nick Groff, formerly one of the three stooges on Ghost Adventures, was the executive producer. This could very well explain his departure from his previous show, to expend his time and energy to develop this project. Or…maybe he had just grown tired of playing second banana to Zak Bagans? Hopefully it returns and Groff has his shot.
And those dearly departed shows:
Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files
Premiering on July 15, 2010 for a three season run on the Syfy Channel, former FBI agent Ben Hansen and team took a critical look at paranormal oddities across the globe. Viewers were allowed their input in the first half of season two. Regardless, it grew stale.
Another Syfy innovation on the paranormal horizon that certain mines have the possibility of being haunted. It premiered January 16, 2013 for a two season run—the first with six episodes, the second with twelve. It did not return for a third season, and one can only guess at the fate of the central Oregon mine after investigators Patrick Doyle and Kristen Luman departed. Syfy pulled the plug on this prematurely.
Deep South Paranormal
We all love our southern boys! Syfy Channel featured a bayou based team dealing not only with ominous presences, but also gators, snakes, and thirsty mosquitoes. It premiered April 10, 2013, ran six episodes, and was kaput by May 15. It was Duck Dynasty meets the spirits!
Premiering July 3, 2012 with six episodes the show featured Jack Osbourne (son of Ozzy) and team as they took to America’s remote roads in search of hellhounds, skin walkers, ghosts and restless spirits. On the fifth episode Osbourne revealed he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and stepped back temporarily from his hosting duties. The team, however, went on. On April 22, 2013 Syfy renewed for another six episode second season, returning on November 27, 2013. A third season seems to have slipped through the cracks as Syfy has moved on to other things. Many are still waiting. Don’t! It’s pretty much cancelled.
There are observations to be made. Syfy Channel seems to have a habit of glutting the market with paranormal reality shows; some just silly and deserving of cancellation, others not given the time to develop a loyal viewer base. They would appear—at least in the near past—to be in a paranormal frenzy. Too much shoved down a viewer’s throat doesn’t usually have a happy outcome.
And another…what in the world is up with Jael de Pardo? Has she become the kiss of death for any given paranormal show? Jael has a long history of association with paranormal television: she was one of Josh Gate’s girls on Destination Truth…at least for a season or so; then her tenure with Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files; and most recently with Haunted Highway. All have been cancelled. Is this girl the black widow of ghostly entertainment? Perhaps Jason Hawes and Syfy Channel might consider her for one of the replacements on Ghost Hunters? Perhaps….
The ghost shows in 2015 may very well open some doors, but most likely close others.
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