For years now, there’s been speculation about when Ghost Hunters would return to the airwaves. Jason Hawes has been a bit cagey about why SyFy dumped the show back in 2016, and he’s been dropping hints for a long time that the show would return. And in early April, it was officially announced that a return was imminent: Hawes, along with Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango, would return to TV on the Travel Channel to be ghost hunters! But in a new show called Ghost Nation. Yeah. Not the worst name for a ghost hunting TV show imaginable, but still pretty weak and uninspired. But, you know, SyFy has all the rights to Ghost Hunters, so they did what they could. But they were back, baby!
But whoa, hold your horses. Fast forward to earlier today, when Grant Wilson, who infamously exited Ghost Hunters back in 2012 for reasons still not completely known, made a big announcement on his Instagram: he is coming back to TV, with an all-new show on A&E called…Ghost Hunters. Yep, looks like Grant and/or A&E procured the rights to the Ghost Hunters name and brand, as even the logo is the same. I’ve even heard rumors that Jason was recently complaining about logo issues, and I guess now we know why. So what does this all mean?
Well, there’s a lot to unpack here. Probably more than I’m even aware of. But let’s start with the obvious. The main question people seem to have is did Grant and Jason have a falling out? Hard to say, but no matter how you look at this news, it’s an extremely awkward situation. Jason and Grant formed TAPS together, and then were recruited to be on Ghost Hunters. Plumbers, best friends, co-founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society, you probably know the whole deal if you’re reading this.
Years into its run, Grant suddenly leaves Ghost Hunters. The pat reason of “I want to spend more time with my family” is given, but most people don’t buy it. I think most people saw the direction the show was heading in, and figured Grant simply had enough of the shenanigans. Anyway, Ghost Hunters continues on successfully for a few more years, before being canceled (or whatever Jason Hawes says happened) by the SyFy Channel. Lots of rumor and speculation abound, Jason does some vague pontification on the whole situation, and now Jason, Steve, and Tango have their own show on one network, while Grant has Ghost Hunters on a separate, slightly bigger network. If they are still friends, I can’t imagine that this whole clusterfluff hasn’t caused even just a little bit of awkward friction.
So are they still friends? Possibly, but it’s hard to imagine so, and if we do, I can’t imagine they are as close as they once were. Because if they were, why wouldn’t they just be on the same show again, together, as a team? If Grant was done spending time with his family, why not just return to TAPS, reconnect with Jason, Steve, and Tango, and bring the true Ghost Hunters brand back to A&E, instead of two separate shows? Or just abandon Ghost Hunters all together to start fresh on Ghost Nation? Alternately, why didn’t they each helm their own show, on the same network, to allow for crossover and cross-promotion? I’m sure there are answers to this, but to those of us playing at home, the apparent schism is the elephant in the room.
I find it interesting that Jason was (allegedly) publicly complaining about logo issues a few weeks back. I’m still trying to find the audio, but this is what the rumor mill is saying, and I’ve heard it from a few different sources now. Referring to the “logo issues,” Instagram user flyingrhinotattoos stated that Jason referred to Grant as “someone we used to work with.” I mean, Jason never really comes off as a likable guy, but this seems to be directly targeting his former best friend and his new endeavor. Some sour grapes, perhaps? It wouldn’t be surprising. Jason was always the de facto leader, and he did stay with the show until it finished its run on SyFy, so in a way, I can’t blame him if he’s a bit miffed at having to start over, as it were.
I’m sure more information will trickle out as news of this spreads, and press releases, media interviews and the like will hopefully fill in some gaps as to what exactly went down, but for now, I’m guessing A&E bought the rights to Ghost Hunters and lured Grant back, as Jason, Steve and Tango were already contractually tied to Ghost Nation. Grant has always seemed like a good guy, down to earth, approachable, so hopefully this new show gives him what the SyFy run couldn’t.
Once again, Grant Wilson walks away. Only this time, he is taking Ghost Hunters with him.
Ghost Hunters premieres on A&E on August 21st at 9pm EST.
Ghost Nation premieres on The Travel Channel sometime in Q4 2019.