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Archive for Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Sci-Fi Channel plumbs depths of paranormal

October 6, 2004

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Proof that even ghostbusters need day jobs is on "Ghost Hunters" (8 p.m., Sci Fi), a documentary soap opera that follows the day-to-day dramas of Jason and Grant, two Rhode Island plumbers who moonlight as paranormal detectives.

In episode one, they make the nine-hour drive from New England to Altoona, Pa., where a mother claims her young daughter has been having "arguments" with the ghosts of children who have even taken away her dolls in an ectoplasmic tug of war. The long trip causes dissension in the ranks of the Ghost Hunters. The wives balk at the guys' long absences, and one of their drivers even loses his job because he's spent so much time chasing spirits.

Given the show's nuts-and-bolts attitude, somebody should have explained how the guys can afford their high-tech instruments. But get ready for goose bumps when they "record" eerie voices saying, "They don't want us here." You don't have to believe in the supernatural to find these working-class ghost tales compelling, offbeat and entertaining.

  • Amanda Tapping of "Stargate SG-1" fame is host of "Proof Positive: Evidence of the Paranormal" (7 p.m. Sci Fi), a new variation on the well-worn "Unsolved Mysteries" genre. Every week, "Proof" presents three spooky tales. Forensics experts then examine the facts and offer explanations that disprove any paranormal activity, or offer the "Proof Positive" seal of approval.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Scheduled on "60 Minutes II" (7 p.m., CBS): A treatable condition often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's; a profile of Jimmy Buffett.
  • A murdered cop had a bad reputation on "CSI: Miami" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • A skeleton rides a tour bus on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS).
  • An NRA devotee changes places with a tree hugger on "Wife Swap" (9 p.m., ABC).
  • Stephen Baldwin has replaced Shannen Doherty as host of "Scare Tactics" (9 p.m., Sci Fi), the horror-themed update of "Candid Camera."

Late night

Jamie Foxx, Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno hosts Rocky La Port and Lenny Kravitz on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

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