Syfy network has announced that it's long-running paranormal reality series Ghost Hunters -- which was to premiere April 17 -- has been pushed back to June 12. In its place, Haunted Collector, the paranormal investigative series starring John Zaffis and Brian Cano, would enjoy an extended third season with new episodes airing until June 5.
The Syfy release gave no reason for GH's delay, and screeners for the new season of Ghost Hunters have already been sent to press. Ghost Hunters, which premiered in 2004, is on hiatus from its ninth season. Neither Haunted Collector nor Ghost Hunters have been renewed (or canceled) by the network.
Here's what we know: The shows are currently occupying the same programming space. They are very similar in style (although I know fans will vehemently disagree). Also, the network appears to be moving away from "traditional" investigation-driven series -- a tradition GH largely spearheaded when it debuted -- and towards more character-driven para-shows like Stranded and Deep South Paranormal.
Of course, this move might mean nothing. Or it could mean one of a couple things (this is pure speculation) ...
Scenario A: Syfy is prepping to wrap up GH, and they are this using additional this time to put together a farewell episode for the series. It is highly unlikely the series will disappear -- this year or next or two years from now -- without a sendoff from the network. IF this is the end, it is a little surprising the network wouldn't just order a shorter "tenth season" just so GH could hit that milestone.
Scenario B: The network is burning through remaining Haunted Collector episodes and doesn't plan on renewing it.
Scenario C: Remember Notorious Hauntings, the show from Pilgrim (the production company behind GH) with the globetrotting premise very similar to Ghost Hunters International? It was slated to premiere in Spring 2013. Shows get bumped back all the time without it being a bad omen. But it is possible that that show wasn't where it needed to be, so the solution was to stretch out the paranormal programming until/if it is ready to go. After all, the great thing about TV episodes, is that they can let audiences gorge on new eps now and always make more later.
Scenario X: None of this has anything to do with the move. There are likely so many intangibles behind the curtain to alter the scheduling landscape. Heck, it could even be connected to other non-paranormal programming, such as the success of Defiance. That seems unlikely that the survival, demise or afterlife of a show would be influenced by Defiance's numbers. Or does it?
Here's another thing: We know very little beyond the fact that fans of nightvision cameras, ghost hunting gadgets and paranormal investigations just got an extra treat this spring and summer.
What are your theories?
UPDATE: Craig Engler, senior executive and master tweeter of Syfy, responded via Twitter that, "The schedule change is just course of business, not a reflection on either show. Don't read anything into it." So there you go, folks.