Back in January, Universal canceled Crossing Over with John Edward
, that low-rated show with the psychic guru from Long Island who talks to dead people. New episodes will run through May, but there's no plan for the show to continue in syndication. (Please don't ask, "If he's psychic, why didn't he see this
comin'?" He's heard 'em all.) So what will John Edward
do next? For starters, he guest stars on Will & Grace
tonight (8:30 pm/ET on NBC). Here, TV Guide Online gets the sitcom scoop and glimpses into his future.
TV Guide Online: You just came back from Australia, right?
Edward: I don't even know what day it is! I was on tour for my latest book, Afterlife. I did five cities with huge venues of [up to] 10,000 people.
TVGO: It's funny to think of you as an international celebrity. I just see you as...
Edward: That guy from Long Island! That's exactly how I still perceive myself. When people recognize me, I have to remind myself, "Oh yeah, you've been on TV for four years." At first, I think, "Do I know you? Why are you looking at me like that?" Especially on the Long Island Railroad, which I've had to stop taking.
TVGO: You're right up there with famous people from Long Island.
Edward: There's Billy Joel from Hicksville, Rosie O'Donnell from Commack, me from Huntington. Ashanti's from Glen Cove. We both went to Glen Cove High School.
TVGO: So in Afterlife, you discuss your father's death. Have you communicated with him?
Edward: I sense his presence around. It's actually ironic because my dad and I were not close in life. A lot of people think that, in my work, I speak to the other side the way you and I are speaking! How this actually works is it's not a physical conversation. It's energy transmitted for the medium to interpret.
TVGO: What's your take on skeptics who think you're just doing magician's tricks, like cold reading the audience?
Edward: I really haven't had people accuse me of that, like, "I think you're a cold reader and you're full of s---." [Laughs] When people don't understand, they need to explain it and rationalize it away. Those are more cynical beliefs than skeptical. I encourage a healthy skepticism when dealing with this subject matter, because there are many frauds and charlatans. They have neon signs in their windows that say, "Psychic Readings $5." Skepticism helps guard yourself against that. Cynicism is where people say, "Nothing is possible. When you're dead, you're dead." I don't need to defend my belief in God and my knowledge that there is an afterlife and we can connect with it.
TVGO: How did you react to Crossing Over's cancellation?
Edward: I was happy! [Laughs] A lot of people are shocked by that, but I don't think we should've even done the last season. It's run its course. How many funerals do you want to go to in a week? Between Sci Fi Channel and syndication, six episodes a day were running in some markets! That's intense, and it takes a lot of energy out of viewers.
TVGO: So you'll still have your worldwide seminars and books to make a living, right?
Edward: I've been on TV about four years, but I've been doing this work close to 20. The show was only one small aspect of what I do; it's not how I define myself. My waiting list for seminars was extensive — up to three or four years — even before the show. I hope that viewers who watched Crossing Over as therapy can move on, and not be dependent on a show to know that life and love are eternal. It's helped a lot of people and that is the true gift.
TVGO: Do you help Karen talk to her late husband, Stan, on Will & Grace?
Edward: I've been asked to guest star on a lot of shows, but I usually say no. For one thing, I can't act! And I also don't want to risk jeopardizing the integrity of the work I do. People would be like, "What, does he wanna be an actor now?!" But I'm a fan of Will & Grace. The scenario is that Karen's interested in marrying again, but she's having dreams about Stan. So I'm at a local bookstore signing books and she asks me to read her on the spot — and I say I can't do it, as I would in any bookstore! It's inappropriate to switch it on like "Ba-boom!" when there's 1,000 people waiting in line to get their books signed. She has a great line when I say no to her. Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes are hilarious. It was awesome.