Mar 28 2008

The Skeptologists

Next week I will be in Los Angeles filming a pilot for a new TV show called The Skeptologists. The show is the brain child of Brian Dunning (of Skeptoid fame) and producer Ryan Johnson (of American Dragster fame). At this point the show is just a pilot, produced on spec, as it were, so not big TV contract yet. But we can always be hopeful.

The show will be a reality investigative documentary – we will explore fringe and unconventional claims from a scientific point of view. I think the time is ripe for such a show. There are far too many credulous paranormal shows out there, with kids and plumbers playing at science but getting it wrong. I think (hope) the pubic will welcome a show with actual live scientists taking a look at some of these claims.

Here’s the lineup:

Me, Michael Shermer, Phil Plait, Yau-Man Chan (yes, that guy from Survivor), Kirsten Sanford, and Mark Edward (here are more details on the cast).

This also means that next week I am planning on being too busy to update my blog, but fear not. I will be re-editing and updating some of my classic essays from back in the day (originally published either in my Weird Science Column or in the New England Journal of Skepticism) and posting them up throughout the week. If I have time I may also give you an update on how the shooting is going for Skeptologists. So stay tuned.

11 responses so far

11 thoughts on “The Skeptologists”

  1. Aaron says:

    I can’t wait to see the show. I hope if it doesn’t find a TV audience the producers will consider some kind of ad supported web format a la The Cranky Geeks or Diggnation. Maybe TivoCast?

  2. isles says:

    Don’t go all Hollywood on us and come back too sexy for this blog. We need our Novelliciousness!

  3. jonny_eh says:

    One skeptical show that supposedly gets it right, but is hosted by kids, is the Mystery Hunters shown here in Canada on YTV.

    The creator of the show, David Acer, was interviewed on Skepticality this month.

    It’ll be nice to see a good skeptical show with adults for once.

  4. dcardani says:

    Well, you’re probably busy during this time, but Sunday at 11:00am in Hollywood the LA Skeptics (yes, they do exist) are having a lecture called “The Secular Conscience” with Austin Dacey. It’s at CFI-LA (Center for Inquiry in Los Angeles). Their address is 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027. You can read more about it here:

  5. Prediction: The Skeptologists proves to be a huge ratings success. The as yet undetermined cable carrier (A&E, Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc.) is overjoyed and only wants to make it ‘better’. So, to improve the show they push aside all those musty nay-saying skeptics, most of whom are over 21 years of age, and replace them with hot young starlet types, ideally ones who’ve taken a science course at some point. They also disallow conclusions being drawn and presented on air, and instead leave it to the individual viewer ‘to make up his or her own mind’, because in cable TV documentary land no truth is independent of individual feelings. Plus, they don’t want to alienate the multitudes of believers who call and write to complain about the original incarnation of the show.


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