No juicy details given about haunted house reality show

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 Back in Reality Biz with Haunted House Project at ABC | Variety.

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.

  5 comments for “No juicy details given about haunted house reality show

  1. November 23, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    “has set up his first major reality project since ankling Fox in May”

    Could someone tell me what “ankling” is, please? I’m unfamiliar with the term and can’t find a definition anywhere. Must be one of the new internet terms.

  2. Irritated Kalifornian
    November 23, 2013 at 9:23 PM
  3. Chris Howard
    November 23, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Horrible Hoax: The show where entertainment industry professionals, skeptics, and magicians team up to hoax various paranormal groups, psychics, and ghost hunters, in order to expose the often dangerous and disrespectful practices of said groups.

    The team would make up a fake history, documents, artifacts, actors passed off as local historians/professors and fake web sites.

    Then they’d pick a local house, or structure, making sure it has no ghost lore regarding the property, and in essence, turn it into a haunted house.

    The effects crew, and magicians explain how they’re going to fool the ghost hunters, while educating the viewers on why the gadgets and practices don’t make any sense, as wells as, to the dangers of ghost hunting.

    Then let the paranormal investigators “investigate” it, while claiming to be filming a documentary on ghost hunting groups.

    Come clean at the end of each episode.
    Film each season in a different part of the country, with a different host so as not to tip off other groups who may have viewed the prior season.

    Instant hit. 😉

  4. Nos482
    November 24, 2013 at 12:02 AM
  5. Graham
    November 24, 2013 at 5:50 AM

    Mark Edward posted something to SkepticBlog recently about how sideshows are using ‘Reality TV’ techniques to scare the punters about ‘ghosts n’demons’.

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