We didn't need a psychic to tell us that the success of NBC's Medium would have other networks jumping on the afterlife wagon.But a new CBS drama pilot, starring former Party of Fiver and Neutrogena hawker Jennifer Love Hewitt as a young woman who communicates with the dead, isn't as similar as it sounds. Or so claims the show's creator, famed seer James Van Praagh. "Unlike Medium, we have nothing to do with crime solving. Our psychic is a ghostbuster who helps the dead cross over into the light," says Van Praagh, who previously hosted the syndicated spiritfest Beyond with James Van Praagh. He based his pilot (working title: The Ghost Whisperer) on a popular Cleveland medium known only as Mary Ann. "She believes that there is a 48-hour period after death where we all have free will; [our souls] can stay earthbound or go to the other side," Van Praagh says. Love Hewitt's character will be married to a paramedic and own an antiques store. Van Praagh — whose life was the subject of Living with the Dead, a 2002 CBS movie starring Ted Danson — says he "likes Medium, but sometimes they don't have it right. Patricia Arquette does everything," he says. "She has visions, she heals, she reads minds, she sees into the past and the future. I've never heard of any psychic who can do it all!" If Van Praagh's series resurrects Love Hewitt's career from the dead, that'll be a marvel in itself.
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