'Crossing' The Line

Psychic John Edward talks to tv audience. AP

"Crossing Over" has crossed back from a plan to air segments in which its host, psychic John Edward, claims to contact some of those who perished in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Bending to strong objections from station executives and advertisers, Studios USA Domestic Television scrapped the idea of the terrorism-related TV seances.

Studios USA President Steve Rosenberg, citing "a reaction that none of us expected," told Broadcasting & Cable magazine Thursday that while some segments have already been taped, they will not be broadcast.

"Crossing Over," on which Edward claims to communicate with deceased relatives and friends of audience members and celebrity guests, airs in syndication and on cable's Sci Fi Channel.

The show's Web site on Friday had posted a statement declaring Edward "has been inundated with calls and pleas for readings from grieving families of the World Trade Center victims looking for comfort and closure."

Although such readings will continue to be conducted privately, the statement said, they "will NOT air."

Word leaked out earlier this week about the planned episodes, which were meant to air during the fiercely competitive November "sweeps" period.

The reaction "seemed a little crazy," Rosenberg said, "but we have too good a show to do something that might offend people."

Edward, who pledges on his Web site to "reunite people in the physical world with their loved ones who have crossed over," began his New York-based series on Sci Fi a year ago. A daily syndicated version premiered on local stations this fall.



By Frazier Moore
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