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NBC Slates Psychic for Sweeps

Mentalist Gerry McCambridge is already trying to read NBC's mind.

The mentalist's publicist put out a release Monday saying that NBC planned to air his special May 12 at 8 p.m. That came as news to some at NBC. The special has not yet been booked and no annoucement has been made, but yes, as a matter of fact, May 12 is said to be a tentative, but likely, airdate, according to NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks.

McCambridge was "discovered" by NBC President Jeff Zucker at a party in the Hamptons, according to the publicity folks for both McCambridge and NBC. Zucker then hosted McCambridge at his own home, said Marks, who saw him there and pronounces him "terrific."

TV psychics were all the rage for a blink or two of the all-seeing eye, but have since faded.
ABC has had some success with its series of specials featuring mentalist/magician David Blaine, who, like McCambridge, developed a Hollywood following.

TV psychics James van Praagh and John Edward both got syndicated shows, but Beyond with James van Praagh lasted only a single season in 2002-2003. Edward's Crossing Over debuted in August 2001 in syndication (having also aired on Sci-Fi Channel) and is heading to the great beyond at the end of this season. Both of those psychics claimed to be communicating with dead people, while McCambridge sees live people.

The special is currently a onetime shot, "unless he can see the ratings future," joked Marks.