Onto the next? Not on Syfy. After more than 200 episodes, and almost 14 years of seeking proof of the paranormal, Ghost Hunters will be ending its run on the network following Season 11, which premieres Aug. 3, according to its star.
In the place, Hawes said, “With heavy heart we want to tell everyone that we are choosing at this time to stop our relationship with SyFy channel.” He went on to compose, “We’ve been one of their top rated and top saw shows since Pilgrim and TAPS Films determined to join forces and create the show Ghost Hunters.”
He also included Ghost Hunters may return in another form: “ There are some tremendous things in the works with WIRETAPS, Ghost Hunters, Pilgrim Films and so much more.”
Debuting in 2004 on the erstwhile Sci-Fi Channel, the legacy of the docusoap, where a team of researchers (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) seek to debunk or affirm claims of ghostly action, cannot be dismissed. The show was a success for the network for a while, and at its peak, pulled at about three million viewers per episode. It is heretofore Syfy’s longest-running series, and ushered in an era of similarly-themed reality-TV shows. But the show, arguably with the exception of Travel Channel’s long -running Ghost Adventures, is the only one break through to the mainstream and to really become part of the pop culture lexicon.
Cofounders, and original co-leads, Grant Wilson and Hawes (famously Roto-Rooter plumbers by day, busters by night) appeared on late-night talk shows and The Today Show, and the show was spoofed on Saturday Night Live, and South Park. It spawned ghost hunting events, live episodes, products, apps, and spin offs at famously haunted” landmarks that were “. Use of night vision cameras, and the Ghost Hunters lingo, and other gadgets, could also be felt throughout movies and scripted TV, such as The Conjuring, Paranormal Activity, and Supernatural, among others.
However, the end of the series comes as no surprise as Syfy has shifted away from the paranormal reality TV craze and re-centered its focus on scripted science fiction programming. And while still a solid performer for the network, Season 10 averaged 880,000 viewers with a peak of 1.15 million audience.
As for the announcement itself, Hawes’ post suggests it was his and creation company Pilgrim Films’ selection to wrap the show’s run on Syfy, instead of being canceled by the network. Thus far the network has not made a statement.
Regarding the guarantee for what it really is potential the show could have a life elsewhere. For instance, the Discovery Networks channel Destination America has shifted to a mainly paranormal programming slate. Plus, while it may not fit on Syfy any longer, the brand itself is powerful enough (and comparatively cheap to create) that a streaming network looking for unscripted shows could possibly swoop in and pick it up.
Conjecture aside, the ending of Ghost Hunters at Syfy is an end to an interesting era at the network. The series leaves behind evidence of a Syfy legacy, although the existence of the paranormal may not have been established on the show.
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