When the Vatican updated its exorcism ritual in 1999, Cardinal Jorge Media Estevez assured CNN that instances of genuine demonic possession were "not that great [and] rather scarce." This makes the Vatican's decision to team up with the Discovery Channel for a new exorcism reality show all the more perplexing. Demons, unlike Alaskan king crab, do not run in season. Entertainment Weekly TV reporter James Hibberd says the show's producers will "recreate stories of real-life hauntings and demonic possession" and be granted "access into the Vatican's case files, as well as interviews with the organization's top exorcists--religious experts who are rarely seen on television."
And while interviews with religious experts rarely seen on television do not a breakout reality hit make, Hibberd explains why the Discovery Channel won't be sweating it if the show starts slow.
The network hopes its partnership with the Church will pave the way for producers GoGo Luckey to take the series to the next level--joining Catholic investigators on live demon-purging ride-alongs.
Is it us, or does the "next level" sound a lot like COPS?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.