WASHINGTON, May 12, 2013 — “Long Island Medium” follows the life of psychic-medium Theresa Caputo as she conducts readings with both believers and skeptics. Critics are quick to dismiss Caputo as a fake, but season three of the show averaged just under three million viewers an episode, making it one of The Learning Channel’s most successful reality programs. Apparently not everyone dismisses her as a charlatan.
In addition to random and scheduled readings, each episode of “Long Island Medium” usually features a little family drama that reminds us Caputo’s life isn’t that different from ours. Her family may tire of Caputo’s constant chatter with the dead, but they never waiver in their support.
Whether she is fake or not, the real treasure of the show is Caputo’s energetic and uplifting demeanor. She comes across as genuine and caring in such a way that we want to believe her gift is real. Since Caputo allegedly decided a long time ago not to give angry spirits a voice, her message to the people she reads is almost always positive.
“Long Island Medium” blurs the line between contrived TV drama and real life, but what reality show doesn’t these days? What counts is her ability to ease the minds of the loved ones left behind.
In loss people struggle to find answers that will comfort them in their grief. Regardless of our backgrounds, we all have that in common. If Caputo can give any of us that, whether it’s manufactured or not, it has real value.
All times are EDT:
CBS: 60 Minutes: (New) Scott Pelley interviews Jessica Buchanan, an American aid worker who was captured and held hostage for three months in Somalia before being rescued by Navy SEALs. Also: a look at a Syracuse University course designed to help disabled military veterans start their own businesses
NBC: The Voice: (Repeat) The playoff round begins with the Top 16 vocalists performing.
ABC: Once Upon a Time: (New) Storybrooke’s inhabitants brace themselves as Greg and Tamara activate the trigger within the curse; Mr. Gold mourns; Hook rescues Bae, who is being pursued by the Lost Boys.
CBS: Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites: (New) The finalists are questioned by the jury members, who then vote for the winner.
FOX: The Simpsons: (New) Marge hires Slava’s attractive daughter as Bart’s piano teacher, while Homer flips when he loses the last two hairs on his head, and must resort to a variety of headgear to keep the secret from Marge.
FOX: Bob’s Burgers: (New) In the Season 3 finale, Gene signs up for baseball, while Tina becomes hooked on espresso.
ABC: Revenge: (New) A catastrophic moment changes everyone’s lives; a heartbreaking death forces Emily to evaluate her quest for revenge.
FOX: Family Guy: (New) When the Griffins move to a farm, Peter launches an illegal drug business.
NBC: The Celebrity Apprentice: (New) Two contestants are fired before the final task, creating a new flavor of Walgreen’s Delish ice cream.
HBO: Game of Thrones: (New) Tywin counsels Joffrey; Melisandre shares a secret with Gendry; Daenerys exchanges gifts with a slave lord near Yunkai; Brienne battles a formidable adversary in Harrenhal; Shae isn’t happy with Tyrion’s new situation; Sansa worries about her future.
SHOWTIME: Nurse Jackie: (New) Jackie prepares for her date with Frank, and Mike Cruz calls in a moment of need.
PBS: Masterpiece Classic: (New) Mr. Selfridge: Harry faces fierce competition from F.W. Woolworth, who’s brought his U.S.-based discount chain to England. In other events, the relationship between Agnes and Henri heats up.
FOX: American Dad: (New) In the Season 8 finale, Klaus discovers his original human body, but Stan refuses to allow him to switch back, so Klaus pilfers Stan’s body and Stan is rendered a fish. Meanwhile, Roger makes a gym out of the attic and pressures Steve to sign a long-term membership.
CBS: Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites: Reunion: (Live) The finalists are questioned by the jury members, who then vote for the winner.
PBS: 10 Buildings That Changed America: (New) A tour of 10 influential American buildings, including the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond; Trinity Church in Boston; the Wainwright Building in St. Louis; the Robie House in Chicago; the Highland Park Ford Plant in Highland Park, Mich.; Southdale Center in Edina, Minn.; the Seagram Building in New York; Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va.; the Vanna Venturi House in Philadelphia; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A.
HBO: Veep: (New) Selina and her staff go to Helsinki to work on a trade agreement, but wonder what kind of reception she’ll get in Europe. Meanwhile, Dan asks Mike for advice on dealing with the press; and Kent and Ben are at odds over new intelligence.
SHOWTIME: The Borgias: (New) Lucrezia travels to Naples and plots against King Ferdinand.
New episodes of:
Long Island Medium on the Road at 8 p.m. on TLC
Dateline ID at 8 p.m. on ID
Cupcake Wars at 8 p.m. on Food Channel
Wicked Tuna: Hooked Up at 8 p.m. on NGC
Trip Flip at 8 p.m. on Travel Channel
Married to Medicine at 8 and 9 p.m. on BRAVO
Extreme Factories at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Extreme Homes at 9 p.m. on HGTV
Great Bear Stakeout at 9 p.m. on DSC
River Monsters at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet
Ax Men at 9 p.m. on History Channel
Wicked Tuna at 9 p.m. on NGC
Iron Chef America at 9 p.m. on Food Channel
Long Island Medium at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC
Mad Men at 10 p.m. on AMC
Ice Cold Gold at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet
The Kandi Factory at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
Restaurant Impossible at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Unusual Suspects at 10 p.m. on ID
Ultimate Survival Alaska at 10 p.m. on NGC
Alien Mysteries at 10 p.m. on SCI
For movie lovers:
V is for Vendetta on BBC
Spinout on ENC
The Social Network on FMC
Step Brothers on FX
Ice Age: Continental Drift on HBO
Apollo 18 on SHO
Roughly Speaking on TCM
The Help on TMC
National Treasure on TNT
Contraband on HBO
American Reunion on MOMAX
Resident Evil on REELZ
Star Trek: Nemesis on Syfy
Source Code at 9:30 p.m. on SHO
Meet the Fockers at 9:30 p.m. on HBO
Gallipoli at 10 p.m. on SUND
Autumn in New York at 10:05 p.m. on FLIX
Clash of the Titans at 10:30 p.m. on TNT
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