Long Island Medium

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Long Island Medium
Long Island Medium title.png
Genre Reality television
Starring Theresa Caputo
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 91
Production
Running time 22 to 25 minutes
Production company(s) Magilla Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel TLC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) – present
External links
Website

Long Island Medium is an American reality television series on TLC that debuted on September 25, 2011. Based in Hicksville, New York, the series stars Theresa Caputo as she claims to be a medium who can communicate with the deceased. Caputo's claims have been deemed fictitious by multiple sources, ranging from persons such as magician James Randi, print publications such as Wired,[1] and television news programs like Inside Edition.[2][3] Both Caputo and TLC have been criticized for profiting from what some consider a "charlatan"[4] whose claims are "not true."[1]

Synopsis[edit]

Each episode focuses on Theresa Caputo as she conducts private and group readings with both believers and skeptics. Her husband Larry and two children, Victoria and Larry Jr., have learned to live with her claims of mediumship, but it strains their relationship. In a 2011 interview, Caputo claimed she had the ability to communicate with dead people: "Things are just there. When I was younger I used to actually see images and hear things. As I got older and shut down, it had changed. Because it was frightening to see people standing there who actually weren’t there."[5][6][7]

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Season Premiere Season Finale
1 9 September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) November 6, 2011 (2011-11-06)
2 14 March 25, 2012 (2012-03-25) May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06)
3 17 September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) November 4, 2012 (2012-11-04)
4 30 May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12) December 22, 2013 (2013-12-22)
5 18 March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09) May 18, 2014 (2014-05-18)
6 TBA August 3, 2014 (2014-08-03) TBA

Season 1 (2011)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
1 1 "No Turning Off" September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) 1.36[9]
Theresa Caputo has a very special psychic gift, but her family gets annoyed by her inability to turn it off.
2 2 "Driving Me Nuts" September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) 1.07[9]
Theresa reads a distraught mother and Victoria learns to drive.
3 3 "Spirit Release" October 2, 2011 (2011-10-02) 1.41[10]
The spirit of a 6-year-old boy won't leave Theresa, taking a serious emotional toll on her.
4 4 "This Isn't Working" October 2, 2011 (2011-10-02) 1.31[10]
Theresa meets with her clients in her home.
5 5 "Theresa's Upgrade" October 9, 2011 (2011-10-09) 1.36[11]
The kids get Theresa something more advanced than her cassette recorder; a woman seeks closure.
6 6 "Reconnecting" October 16, 2011 (2011-10-16) 1.45[12]
Theresa plans a trip to reconnect with her friends.
7 7 "Blessing & A Curse" October 23, 2011 (2011-10-23) 1.44[13]
Theresa finds herself putting spirits first and her family second.
8 8 "Theresa Explains It All" October 30, 2011 (2011-10-30) 1.38[14]
Theresa and her family answer questions.
9 9 "Sailing With Spirits" November 6, 2011 (2011-11-06) 1.28[15]
Theresa is invited to do a group reading on a cruise ship traveling to the Bahamas.

Season 2 (2012)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
10 1 "Meeting the Parents" March 25, 2012 (2012-03-25) 2.28[16]
Theresa invites Victoria's boyfriend over for dinner.
11 2 "Drumming and Healing" March 25, 2012 (2012-03-25) 2.25[16]
Theresa hosts a drumming circle to reground herself.
12 3 "Losing It" April 1, 2012 (2012-04-01) 1.69[17]
Spirits interfere with Theresa's workout and Theresa has an emotional breakdown during a reading.
13 4 "Poor Petey" April 1, 2012 (2012-04-01) 1.61[17]
A visit to the vet turns into more than just a checkup and a couple hopes to hear from their son.
14 5 "Christmas Spirit" April 8, 2012 (2012-04-08) 1.48[18]
Theresa spreads the gift of giving when she brings her family to a soup kitchen.
15 6 "Spirit Al Dente" April 8, 2012 (2012-04-08) 1.91[18]
A spirit gets in the way of Theresa becoming an expert chef.
16 7 "Car Crazy" April 15, 2012 (2012-04-15) 1.75[19]
Victoria tries to get a car from her parents and Theresa helps a woman reconnect with her father.
17 8 "Just Like Me" April 15, 2012 (2012-04-15) 1.91[19]
18 9 "Wheelin' & Dealin'" April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22) 2.02[20]
19 10 "Long Island Romance" April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22) 2.29[20]
20 11 "Bellies & Babies" April 29, 2012 (2012-04-29) 1.84[21]
21 12 "Apply Yourself" April 29, 2012 (2012-04-29) 2.11[21]
Victoria is stressed out by the pressures of her senior year in high school and her parents' fixation on the importance of a college education. Meanwhile, Theresa gets to play skeptic for a change at a friend's house.
22 13 "Uneasy" May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06) 1.99[22]
23 14 "Spirit and the City" May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06) 2.24[22]

Season 3 (2012)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
23 1 "Homecoming" September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) 3.17[23]
Theresa's son graduates from college and moves back home, but he soon realizes that his mom wants him to stay there forever; a woman who recently lost her daughter seeks help from Theresa to find closure, which she ends up getting.
24 2 "A Medium Surprise" September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) 3.52[23]
With Theresa's birthday quickly approaching, Larry and the kids hope to throw her a surprise party, but surprising a medium isn't the easiest task, so they must be sneaky; a widow seeks help to find closure after losing her husband several years ago.
25 3 "Help Me" September 16, 2012 (2012-09-16) 2.62[24]
Theresa's looking for an assistant but isn't quite sure with the decision; She helps a family connect with their son who died of a tragic partying death.
26 4 "The Princess and Her Prom" September 16, 2012 (2012-09-16) 3.12[24]
Victoria's Prom is coming up and she recently broke up with her boyfriend and so she decides to take her friend, was it a mistake?; Theresa reads someone at a boutique; She has a private session at her house; And a group reading.
27 5 "The Flying Larrys" September 23, 2012 (2012-09-23) 2.68[25]
Theresa's husband and son decide to go skydiving; To relieve her stress Theresa reads the owner of the skydiving center
28 6 "My Keys Now" September 23, 2012 (2012-09-23) 2.82[25]
After Victoria has two car crashes in a week, Teresa takes her car keys away; The family takes a defensive driving course together, and Theresa reads a class member;
29 7 "Beach Bonding" September 30, 2012 (2012-09-30) 2.53[26]
Larry and Theresa spend some time at the beach;
30 8 "The Graduate" September 30, 2012 (2012-09-30) 2.84[26]
Victoria graduates from high school; while getting a pedicure, she reads a woman who lost both her parents
31 9 "On the Road" October 8, 2012 (2012-10-08) 2.74[27]
Leaving her family and Long Island behind, Theresa packs up her hairspray and treks across America to surprise unbeknownst fans with readings. With a little help from spirit, Theresa shocks everyday families with her amazing gift.
32 10 "The Family Photo" October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14) 2.96[28]
33 11 "Joe Skeptic" October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14) 3.08[28]
34 12 "FAQ" October 21, 2012 (2012-10-21) 2.64[29]
35 13 "Never Before Seen" October 21, 2012 (2012-10-21) 2.93[29]
36 14 "Theresa and the Tent" October 28, 2012 (2012-10-28) 2.74[30]
37 15 "Like Father, Not Like Daughter" October 28, 2012 (2012-10-28) 2.95[30]
38 16 "Halloween Spirit" November 4, 2012 (2012-11-04) 3.09[31]
39 17 "Hello College" November 4, 2012 (2012-11-04) 3.22[31]
Victoria Moves out, and moves to college; while Theresa reads Victoria's college roommate's mom.

Season 4 (2013)[edit]

In November 2012, TLC renewed Long Island Medium for a fourth season.[32][33] The fourth season premiered on May 12, 2013.[34][35] Season 4 went on hiatus after its fifteenth episode and returned in October 2013.

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
40 1 "Missing My Princess" May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12) 2.34[36]
When Victoria visits her family for a few hours, she has a nose piercing ,and 2 tattoos, while Teresa reads a woman, and her son who lost her daughter, and his sister, respectively
41 2 "Theresa in Training" May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12) 2.51[36]
Teresa decides to lose a few pounds, since she can't fit into her dress, so she sees a nutritionist, and a fitness guy, so she can fit into her dress for a group reading.
42 3 "The Royal Flush" May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19) 2.11[37]
The downstairs bathroom is being remodeled, but Larry and Teresa disagree on putting Black Marble in the bathroom. Also, in a private reading, Teresa experiences connection with a negative spirit for the first time.
43 4 "Sandy Spirit" May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19) 2.12[37]
Teresa visits Long Beach, shortly after Hurricane Sandy. In the evening, Teresa visits a community center to do a group reading for people affected by the hurricane. She connects a woman with her deceased husband and a woman with her deceased grandmother.
44 5 "The Gambler" May 26, 2013 (2013-05-26) 1.93[38]
45 6 "Why Me" May 26, 2013 (2013-05-26) 2.20[38]
46 7 "Louie's Lost" June 2, 2013 (2013-06-02) 2.11[39]
47 8 "The Medium Matchmaker" June 2, 2013 (2013-06-02) 2.25[39]
48 9 "Girls Night In" June 9, 2013 (2013-06-09) 2.01[40]
49 10 "Spirit on the Slopes" June 9, 2013 (2013-06-09) 2.12[40]
50 11 "Bouffants and Bingo" June 16, 2013 (2013-06-16) 1.82[41]
51 12 "The Pincushion" June 16, 2013 (2013-06-16) 1.80[41]
52 13 "Once Upon a Dream" June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) 1.89[42]
53 14 "The Patient" June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) 1.93[42]
54 15 "Unseen" June 30, 2013 (2013-06-30) 1.99[43]
55 16 "On the Road: Philadelphia" October 6, 2013 (2013-10-06) 2.62[44]
56 17 "Construction Zone" October 13, 2013 (2013-10-13) 1.66[45]
57 18 "Shoo Shoo Spirit" October 13, 2013 (2013-10-13) 1.97[45]
58 19 "Spirit Left Behind" October 20, 2013 (2013-10-20) 1.85[46]
59 20 "Gluten Free V" October 20, 2013 (2013-10-20) 1.88[46]
60 21 "Momma's Boy" October 27, 2013 (2013-10-27) 1.91[47]
61 22 "Diving Right In" October 27, 2013 (2013-10-27) 1.88[47]
62 23 "When There's a Will..." November 3, 2013 (2013-11-03) 1.99[48]
63 24 "Just Me and V in the Catskills" November 3, 2013 (2013-11-03) 2.02[48]
64 25 "Bunny Love" November 10, 2013 (2013-11-10) 1.68[49]
65 26 "Ready To Leave" November 10, 2013 (2013-11-10) 1.72[49]
66 27 "Long Island Medium Revisited" November 17, 2013 (2013-11-17) 1.77[50]
67 28 "Back to Normal" November 24, 2013 (2013-11-24) 2.11[51]
68 29 "Christmas at the Caputo's" December 15, 2013 (2013-12-15) 1.94[52]
69 30 "Unseen 2" December 22, 2013 (2013-12-22) N/A

Season 5 (2014)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
70 1 "On the Road: San Francisco" March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09) 1.87[53]
71 2 "This Nest Ain't Empty Yet" March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16) 1.99[54]
72 3 "A Change Is A-Comin" March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16) 2.04[54]
73 4 "Surprise Visit" March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23) 1.63[55]
74 5 "The Juice is Loose" March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23) 1.79[55]
75 6 "Back to School" March 30, 2014 (2014-03-30) 1.59[56]
76 7 "Medium Love" March 30, 2014 (2014-03-30) 1.74[56]
77 8 "Theresa Visits Jail" April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06) 1.90[57]
78 9 "Chinese New Year" April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06) 1.98[57]
79 10 "It Ain't Easy Being Me" April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13) 1.76[58]
80 11 "Out of the Attic" April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13) 1.94[58]
81 12 "A Portrait" April 20, 2014 (2014-04-20) 1.84[59]
82 13 "Sage is the Rage" April 20, 2014 (2014-04-20) 1.80[59]
83 14 "Ashes to Art" April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27) 1.80[60]
84 15 "Prayers for Petey" April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27) 1.84[60]
85 16 "The Show Must Go On" May 4, 2014 (2014-05-04) 1.84[61]
86 17 "Behind the Read IV" May 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)
87 18 "On the Road: New Orleans" May 18, 2014 (2014-05-18) 1.86[62]

Season 6 (2014)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
88 1 "On The Road: Las Vegas Part I" August 3, 2014 (2014-08-03) 1.48[63]
89 2 "On The Road: Las Vegas Part II" August 10, 2014 (2014-08-10) 1.40[64]
90 3 "In the Out Door" August 17, 2014 (2014-08-17) 1.59[65]
91 4 "Helmet Head" August 17, 2014 (2014-08-17) 1.60[65]
92 5 "Put a Ring on It"[66] August 24, 2014 (2014-08-24)
93 6 "New Dog, Old Tricks"[66] August 24, 2014 (2014-08-24)

Reception[edit]

Variety's Gregg Goldstein emphasized the appeal of Theresa's vivacious personality: "In an era of hit reality shows about families and denizens of New Jersey, the series' equally big selling point is the dynamic with her husband and two wisecracking teenagers, making it play like a combination of Real Housewives of New Jersey and Bewitched - particularly when their frustrations surface over her random communications with what she calls 'Spirit.'"[67]

Criticism[edit]

Some observers have expressed doubts as to the veracity of Caputo's abilities and suggested that the show's seemingly paranormal performances could simply be the result of age-old exploits like the Forer effect, cold reading, selective editing, and her subjects' eagerness to believe.[1][2][68]

In 2012, the James Randi Educational Foundation awarded Caputo a Pigasus Award for being, in its view, the "psychic" performer who fooled the greatest number of people with the least effort in the preceding year. A Pigasus award was also given to TLC for continuing to air the show.[69] In an article published by Wired Magazine the organization's founder James Randi explained why he believed shows like Long Island Medium were deceptive and potentially harmful to its participants:

Why do these pseudo-psychic spectacles bother those of us at the James Randi Educational Foundation? First, and foremost: They are not true. [...] But much more importantly to us, such performances seem to prey on people at their most vulnerable moments — those who have suffered the loss of loved ones — and these mediums use such grief to make a buck. Psychologists tell us this keeps the grieving stuck in their grief, rather than going through the natural stages of acceptance that are healthy.

—James Randi[1]

In June of that year, Caputo appeared in a commercial for Priceline.com in which she portrayed herself "connecting" with the late Priceline Negotiator character previously played by William Shatner.[70] However, this commercial has sparked controversy, since the commercial appears to make light of the Native American belief of smudging.[71] JREF President DJ Grothe issued a statement decrying Priceline.com: "It is difficult to watch the show and not feel heartbroken for those who are desperate to hear from the departed... and even more so if they are being manipulated by a charlatan." Grothe urged the organization to have their new spokeswoman take the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge and prove her paranormal claims.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Randi, James (April 9, 2012). "The 'Medium' Is Not the Messenger". Wired Magazine. Retrieved May 19, 2013. "Caputo does what’s known in my trade as “cold reading.” The very best practitioners can pick up enough information in what seems like innocent, idle conversation to convince you that they know very specific things about you. The scientific phenomenon is called the Forer effect — giving credence to vague observations that seem personal. [...] Mediums cannot show they do anything more than cold reading nor that what the TV audience sees is just selectively edited to show “hits” and ignore the “misses.”" 
  2. ^ a b "The Long Island Medium – Can She Really Communicate with the Dead?". Inside Edition. August 11, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ Stewart, Dodai (October 20, 2012). "Super Sad and Misguided Emails Intended for the Long Island Medium". Jezebel. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Grothe, DJ. "Priceline.com: Will You Prove Your Spokesperson Worthy for a Million Dollars?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Interview with Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo on new TLC series". Channel Guide Magazine. 
  6. ^ "Long Island Medium renewed: Is Theresa Caputo for real?". EW.com. 
  7. ^ "Rare Medium well done". New York Post. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Long Island Medium: Cast & Details". TV Guide. Retrieved March 30, 2014. 
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