Psychic Kids debuts, Intervention returns tonight

Tonight, A&E extends two of its reality franchises. At 9 p.m. ET, Intervention returns for its fifth season following users who’ve hit rock bottom and the interventions their families and friends plan. Tonight’s episode follows crack addict Chad who used to bike with Lance Armstrong. “Now homeless, Chad spends his days panhandling, smoking crack, and drinking,” A&E says.

At 10, the network debuts a spin-off of its series Paranormal State. Each episode of Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal follows “three kids who ultimately are brought together by [psychics] Chip and Lisa to learn how to cope with their gifts and to realize they are not alone.” While “Chip aims to help the children with the supernatural phenomenon he or she is experiencing, … Lisa helps the children and families deal with the inter-family conflict they may be experiencing,” according to the network.

The inevitable problem is that, since it’s just people talking about what they claim to see, they just come across as batshit crazy. Perhaps they’re really communicating with dead people, but cutaways to heavily stylized B-roll footage doesn’t prove that to us. For example, here’s a clip of an allegedly haunted house that’s really a whole lot of nothing; another clip shows 10-year-old Morgan, who says she can heal people with her magic wand (really), but ends up saying just vague things that people latch on to. More interesting is this behind-the-scenes video with the crew, as one talks about seeing something. Even though they didn’t manage to capture anything on camera, they still seem more credible.

Intervention and Psychic Kids [A&E]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.