There are a few things of interest in this piece: A new reality show about haunted houses, the recognized popularity of such shows, and that there is a job title of “president of unscripted and alternative programming” at TV studios.
Mike Darnell, former head of Fox’s alternative department, has set up his first major reality project since ankling Fox in May: an untitled haunted house show at ABC, with Jason Blum attached as exec producer.
Variety has confirmed that the project currently has a pilot order at the Alphabet and will deal with haunted houses, a seemingly endless area of focus for nonfiction cable nets, with Travel Channel, Syfy and others offering haunted house fare.
The Hollywood Reporter had the exclusive (I suppose), of the story which notes pretty much no details except that Blum is a horror producer:
Though the studio and the network, ABC, are keeping mum on details surrounding the pilot order, the unscripted entry will deal with haunted houses.
Why do announcements like this always make me groan? I’m never hopeful or excited. There hasn’t been a good reality show since MTV’s Fear in 2000 that made it clear that people scare themselves in Haunted Houses. My skeptical brain wants people like Richard Wiseman and Chris French on such a show, explaining how anomalistic psychology works. That’s what’s ACTUALLY INTERESTING, not another scare yourself silly “Did you hear that?!” show. I hope this won’t be that. But what it actually will be is unstated. Hey, I can give you some more ideas…
Here is a comprehensive listing of Paranormal TV shows over the decades, care of yours truly.