America's Psychic Challenge

Common Sense Media says

Clairvoyants' competition turns tragedy into TV.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some of the challenges exploit personal tragedies and loss for entertainment. The competitors represent various races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and sexual orientations. One psychic practices voodoo.

Violence

Some discussions of violent events that happened in the past, including murders and drive-by shootings. Re-enactments aren't graphic, but they may be sad.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality game show -- in which psychics use their abilities to compete for a cash prize -- includes frank discussions about connecting with the other side, which may be scary for younger viewers. Detailed descriptions of violent acts (murder, shootings, and more) are accompanied by subtle re-enactments, images of grieving families, and personal pictures and video clips of the deceased (some of which can feel very exploitative).

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What's the story?

In AMERICA'S PSYCHIC CHALLENGE, 16 people with professed psychic abilities risk their reputations by putting their powers to the test. Psychic mediums, clairvoyants, readers, spiritualists, healers, and crime profilers go head to head in a quest for $100,000 and the title of America's Number One Psychic. In each episode, the competitors apply their unique skills to a variety of challenges to earn points. Each week, the two psychics with the highest scores go on to the next round.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While all of the competitors in America's Psychic Challenge are eager to win, they also seem to view the experience as an opportunity to demonstrate how their talents work -- and don't work -- as well as to dismiss some common myths about the psychic experience. They're quick to point out that everyone possesses psychic abilities; they just happen to be more "in tune" with theirs. They also make it clear (perhaps to preserve their own reputation) that being psychic doesn't mean that they know everything.

America's Psychic Challenge may call itself a game show, but some of the challenges are uncomfortable to watch -- particularly when a psychic is asked to profile a violent crime while the victim's family is present. Seeing family photos, re-enactments, and close ups of desperate family members makes some parts of the show feel more like exploitation than a showcase of psychic talent. That said, the psychics truly view these moments as opportunities to help those who need closure. In the end, the show is less about who wins and more about how these psychics go about making connections between the living and the dead. And while the series' concept seems to invite cynicism, even skeptics may find the psychics' different, sometimes theatrical approaches both interesting and entertaining.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about psychics. Can people really talk to the dead or tell the future, or is it just good guesswork? Is it possible for people to communicate from "beyond the grave"? Is there such a thing as an afterlife? How do different faiths tackle the idea of the afterlife? What do you think happens? Families can also talk about the role that psychics play in solving crimes. Do they really help solve difficult cases? Is it really like what you see psychics do on TV shows?

TV details

Cast:John Burke
Network:Lifetime Television
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of America's Psychic Challenge was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byBob129 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

stay away from psychics!

They are doing this for satan. Don't watch it just because you think it's cool.
Adult Written bymrgwashere April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A new low in Reality TV

Congratulations to Lifetime for creating a new low in reality TV tonight with America's Psychic Challenge. If that smarmy cold reading Lisa Williams wasn't bad enough, they paraded these deluded "contestants" through a family's pain following the murder of their son in a drive-by shooting. Two of my daughters, equally horrified, phoned me to tell me about it. I watched in shock long enough to ensure I was actually seeing what I was seeing… I then turned it off, sickened. I know many of the networks pander to the lowest common denominator but this one takes the cake. I'm not entirely sure who is more despicable, the networks who think so little of their viewers or the companies who enable the production of this voyeuristic garbage by purchasing ad time. Jerry Springer... step aside. This trashy show has exceeded even your "best" efforts.
Adult Written bydlandria3 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A must see program I love it.

The show really let's you see who is real and who is fake. It let's you know that not all psychics are what they say, and it shows you who are real.

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