It’s been a while now since Ghost Hunters was canceled/opted not to return to SyFy, and the departure left more questions than answers. Mainly, why did the series end after the 12th season, and when and where will it turn up again? Jason Hawes said at the time that the show would be back, but offered no specific or concrete information. But I came across this article yesterday, where he tries to give some answers. It’s a long, rambling piece with lots of self-congratulatory pats on the back mixed in with a healthy dose of pot shots at other shows, and not a lot of real answers, so I’ll just paste the relevant points below, with my thoughts, of course.
They kept it “real”
Craig made a statement to us that he stayed true to for all 12 years. ’I won’t step on your toes, Get in your way or stop you from running your crew the way you want. I just want to roll Cameras during your investigations and see how it goes. If you guys don’t do it, Someone else will and how will they portray the Field that you all love so much?’
That sold it to us. We would be allowed to ‘Keep it real and stay ourselves!’
We agreed to do a Season and see how it turned out.
Hmmm. Maybe we should ask Brian Harnois, Andy Andrews, Kristyn Gartland, Donna LaCroix, Mike Dion, Lisa Dowaliby, and other original team members how they feel about this statement?
On why Ghost Hunters left the SyFy Channel
When we got to the end of our 12th season, We felt it time to move on from Syfy channel. Syfy was splitting up our seasons. Airing 4 Episodes here, 4 Episodes there, and so forth.
‘Ghost Hunters’ was considered a ‘Tent Pole show’. What this means in ‘HollyWood’ is, Our Ratings were so high that Syfy thought to put ‘A few of our New shows airing prior to a New show they were trying to kick off’ in hopes that ‘Ghost Hunters’ viewers would stick around to watch their New show.
The Fans found it hard to get any answers on when the show was airing, Why the seasons were so short and when the Seasons would start. They would send emails to Syfy asking for answers and never get any response.
We felt that the lack of communication, Respect and support was to much to handle. Since Pilgrim and TAPS owned ‘Ghost Hunters’, We decided we didn’t want to go any further with Syfy and stopped doing the show for their Network.
I can kinda sorta see why Jason would be upset at this, but this is how TV works, especially these days. “Enjoy your 6 episodes of Game of Thrones, and be sure to catch Part 2 of the season in 2022!” It’s just how episodic television is nowadays. Same thing goes for “tent pole” shows. The television industry has always used popular shows as lead-ins to new shows they are banking on when they need to attract more viewers.
I think the bigger issue here, and one that Jason doesn’t directly address, is that he’s upset that SyFy was airing other paranormal shows after Ghost Hunters. Anyone watching the show past Season 2 or so can vouch for the fact that they hate admitting that any other paranormal teams even exist. So it must have really stuck in his craw that other shows were airing, thus proving that other paranormal groups do indeed exist. So Jason, TAPS and Pilgrim took their ball and went home. According to him, anyway. So where does that take us?
The Future of Ghost Hunters
As of right now, Craig Paligian and Pilgrim Films & Television are talking with numerous Networks about the future of ‘Ghost Hunters’.
There have been offers, But we want it to be done right. We want to keep it real. To be honest, We want to make it fresh again.
So many other shows have come and gone, Copying our format.
It’s been done endless times. If we are going to do it, We want to change it up and make it different from the endless copies that have come and many gone, since we started in 2004.
These things are usually big legal deals and take serious time.
I can say there is a lot of big things in the works. TV, Motion pictures, Radio and more.
So we are enjoying some down time for now and will be doing some great stuff if the near future.
Translation: “We screwed the pooch.” Look, love it or hate it, Ghost Hunters was a ratings juggernaut for a quirky little network like SyFy. And honestly, it was a perfect fit. But as popular as it was, it was still a niche show with a limited fan base. SyFy was big enough to reach a lot of homes, and genre-specific enough for a show like Ghost Hunters and all the other paranormal fare they tried to peddle to be somewhat successful. Ironically, SyFy has since eased off the paranormal cavalcade, and so if they had stayed, Ghost Hunters would be pretty much the sole survivor, and Jason could rest easy and not worry about any other paranormal investigators trying to steal his thunder. So now what?
SyFy is part of NBCUniversal, so they can forget channels like USA, E!, Chiller, Bravo, Oxygen, etc., which are also under that NBCUniversal umbrella. I doubt Discovery would want them, as their Animal Planet subsidiary has Finding Bigfoot, and I’m pretty sure they are even dumping that. A&E is a possibility, but they are running with The Lowe Files right now. “Paranormal competition bad!” says Jason Hawes, so he may not go for that. They can go to Destination America, the cable TV dumping ground where terrible paranormal shows go to die, but then again, we’re back to competing programs. Plus, Destination America doesn’t reach nearly as many households as SyFy does (by a difference of approximately 40 million), so a definite step down.
Subscriptions services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime are possibilities, and maybe the best ones at this point, but I don’t know if those services will want to pay out what Pilgrim will want. I just don’t know if those services will see the show as a great value-add. Ultimately, Hawes/TAPS/Pilgrim need a place where they will get great ratings and exposure, bring in the amount of cash they are used to, and never, ever have to act as a lead-in to another paranormal show. I just don’t see it happening. As I said, I think SyFy was the perfect fit for them, and I’m having a hard time figuring out where they will end up and still have that sort of reach and momentum.
“But wait,” you say, “maybe they’ll pursue motion pictures or radio, as Jason mentioned?” Well, radio is a terrible idea here, as this sort of thing lends itself more to a visual medium. People want to see the locations, view the evidence (and I use that term loosely) for themselves. Sure, they can get into podcasting or whatever, but it won’t have the same impact and influence as the old show had. He also mentioned motion pictures. Really? Will people pay $12.50 to watch a glorified 90-minute Ghost Hunters episode? Highly doubtful, and even more doubtful that a studio would green-light it.
I’m not saying we’ve seen the last of Ghost Hunters. They may surprise me and turn up somewhere totally unexpected. But honestly, I don’t see them ever recapturing their glory days. The longer they are gone, the less people will care. And the less people care, the harder it will be to sell this show to a major media outlet, whether that’s TV, radio, whatever. New shows are always popping up to fill that void, and the paranormal craze itself seems to be losing steam. But for now, I guess they’ll just keep making appearances on the convention circuit, along with the guy who played Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part XXVII.