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Psyched Over 'Detectives’

Court TV, hoping to build momentum for the sophomore-season debut of original series Psychic Detectives, will air show installments throughout this week in primetime.

The series, which focuses on cases in which psychic detectives are brought in to help solve the crime, has been the network’s top-rated original show this year since bowing in February, averaging a 1.2 household rating, according to Court TV officials. The skein improved the network’s 9:30 p.m. time slot by 9%.

Court TV president and chief operating officer Art Bell said the show appeals to both believers and skeptics because the stories are true and told in a compelling, entertaining fashion.

“What we have is a situation where one of the great longstanding debates is whether psychic abilities exist,” Bell said. “What we found happily is that psychics are used by investigators and police to restart leads that have grown cold.”

Court TV will air one of the show’s 10 freshman-season episodes every night this week at 9:30 p.m., according to a network spokesman. The first of 11 new second-season installments will premiere Sept. 22 in the time slot, with an episode focusing on how Williston, Fla., police enlisted psychic Noreen Reneir to solve a missing persons case.

It will be followed by two more first-season Psychic Detectives shows.

At 11 p.m. that same evening, Court TV will bow a special, Psych Out With Nancy Grace, which takes an in-depth look at psychics. The special will feature an interview with Renier, who will discuss how she was contacted by Scott Peterson’s mother Jackie, who provided her with some of Laci’s personal belongings in an attempt to uncover clues about her disappearance.

To further promote the skein’s second season, Court TV said it has hired 100 psychics to give free readings Tuesday at the new Time Warner Center in New York’s Columbus Circle.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.