Long Island Medium

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Long Island Medium
Long Island Medium title.png
Genre Reality television
Starring Theresa Caputo
Larry Caputo Jr.
Victoria Caputo
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 12
No. of episodes 117
Production
Running time 22 to 42 minutes
Production company(s) Magilla Entertainment
Release
Original network TLC
Picture format
Original release September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) – Current
External links
Website

Long Island Medium is a TLC reality television series starring Theresa Caputo, a self-professed medium who claims she can communicate with the dead. Much of the program, which premiered on September 25, 2011, takes place in Hicksville, New York, though it often follows Caputo as she meets with clients in other areas.

Scientific skeptics say mediumship performances are a con,[1][2][3] and Caputo's specific claims have been deemed fictitious by numerous critics, including magician James Randi, print publications including Wired,[4] and television news programs like Inside Edition.[5][6] The Long Island newspaper Newsday refers to her as a "mentalism performer".[7]

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 mediumship. 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."[8][9][10]

Reception[edit]

The show has been a commercial success, running into eight seasons, and the popularity has led to the star producing several books and a jewelry line. Fans describe it as entertaining and fun or amazing.[11] The overall series is described in media review as pretty mild, but it may be disturbing to viewers who are uncomfortable with the topics of death and psychic ability.[12]

Scientific skeptics say mediumship performances are a con,[1][2][3] and that Caputo's seemingly paranormal performances are simply the result of well-known exploits like the Forer effect, cold reading, selective editing of the show, and her subjects' eagerness to believe.[4][5][13]

In 2012, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) awarded Caputo its 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.[14] 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[4]

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.[15] However, this commercial has sparked controversy, since the commercial appears to make light of the Native American belief of smudging. 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.[16]

Inside Edition examined Caputo's claims of being able to talk to the dead and found them lacking as she performed live, saying they "watched her strike out time and again." Mark Edward, who used to portray himself as a medium, gave his opinion that Caputo does not have supernatural powers and explained several common techniques she could be using to pretend to have such abilities. She responded in a statement: "I respect and understand skeptics. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone, that's not why I do what I do. I feel, and have been told by my clients, that my gift has really helped them, and that's all that matters to me."[5]

Ron Tebo, proprietor of the YouTube debunking channel SciFake,[17] has appeared on numerous programs saying Caputo engages in several forms of deception, including sending staff members to interview audience members in advance in order to be able to acquire knowledge to claim communication with the dead.[18]

In March 2018, skeptical activist Susan Gerbic published an article in Skeptical Inquirer summarizing a number of techniques which she says are used by psychics, such as Caputo, to achieve their effects.[19]

Not all the feedback from the show has been entirely negative. While noting that Caputo's claim of special powers "has been questioned", Variety's Gregg Goldstein described her in generally positive terms in a 2012 article, writing, "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.'"[20]

Cast[edit]

Main

Recurring

  • Larry Caputo Jr.[21]
  • Victoria Caputo[21]
  • Larry Caputo

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 15 August 3, 2014 (2014-08-03) October 12, 2014 (2014-10-12)
7 14 March 8, 2015 (2015-03-08) May 3, 2015 (2015-05-03)
8 14 January 3, 2016 (2016-01-03) March 6, 2016 (2016-03-06)
9 unknown unknown unknown
10 10 February 19, 2017 (2017-02-19) April 23, 2017 (2017-04-23)

Season 1 (2011)[edit]

Template:Episode listening

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
11"No Turning Off"September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25)1.36[22]
22"Driving Me Nuts"September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25)1.07[22]
44"This Isn't Working"October 2, 2011 (2011-10-02)1.31[23]
55"Theresa's Upgrade"October 9, 2011 (2011-10-09)1.36[24]
66"Reconnecting"October 16, 2011 (2011-10-16)1.45[25]
77"Blessing & A Curse"October 23, 2011 (2011-10-23)1.44[26]
88"Theresa Explains It All"October 30, 2011 (2011-10-30)1.38[27]
99"Sailing With Spirits"November 6, 2011 (2011-11-06)1.28[28]

Season 2 (2012)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
101"Meeting the Parents"March 25, 2012 (2012-03-25)2.28[29]
112"Drumming and Healing"March 25, 2012 (2012-03-25)2.25[29]
123"Losing It"April 1, 2012 (2012-04-01)1.69[30]
134"Poor Petey"April 1, 2012 (2012-04-01)1.61[30]
145"Christmas Spirit"April 8, 2012 (2012-04-08)1.48[31]
156"Spirit Al Dente"April 8, 2012 (2012-04-08)1.91[31]
167"Car Crazy"April 15, 2012 (2012-04-15)1.75[32]
178"Just Like Me"April 15, 2012 (2012-04-15)1.91[32]
189"Wheelin' & Dealin'"April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22)2.02[33]
1910"Long Island Romance"April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22)2.29[33]
2011"Bellies & Babies"April 29, 2012 (2012-04-29)1.84[34]
2112"Apply Yourself"April 29, 2012 (2012-04-29)2.11[34]
2213"Uneasy"May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06)1.99[35]
2314"Spirit and the City"May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06)2.24[35]

Season 3 (2012)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
241"Homecoming"September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09)3.17[36]
252"A Medium Surprise"September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09)3.52[36]
263"Help Me"September 16, 2012 (2012-09-16)2.62[37]
274"The Princess and Her Prom"September 16, 2012 (2012-09-16)3.12[37]
285"The Flying Larrys"September 23, 2012 (2012-09-23)2.68[38]
296"My Keys Now"September 23, 2012 (2012-09-23)2.82[38]
307"Beach Bonding"September 30, 2012 (2012-09-30)2.53[39]
318"The Graduate"September 30, 2012 (2012-09-30)2.84[39]
329"On the Road"October 7, 2012 (2012-10-07)2.74[40]
3310"The Family Photo"October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14)2.96[41]
3411"Joe Skeptic"October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14)3.08[41]
3512"FAQ"October 21, 2012 (2012-10-21)2.64[42]
3613"Never Before Seen"October 21, 2012 (2012-10-21)2.93[42]
3714"Theresa and the Tent"October 28, 2012 (2012-10-28)2.74[43]
3815"Like Father, Not Like Daughter"October 28, 2012 (2012-10-28)2.95[43]
3916"Halloween Spirit"November 4, 2012 (2012-11-04)3.09[44]
4017"Hello College"November 4, 2012 (2012-11-04)3.22[44]

Season 4 (2013)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
411"Missing My Princess"May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12)2.34[45]
422"Theresa in Training"May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12)2.51[45]
433"The Royal Flush"May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19)2.11[46]
444"Sandy Spirit"May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19)2.12[46]
455"The Gambler"May 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)1.93[47]
466"Why Me"May 26, 2013 (2013-05-26)2.20[47]
477"Louie's Lost"June 2, 2013 (2013-06-02)2.11[48]
488"The Medium Matchmaker"June 2, 2013 (2013-06-02)2.25[48]
499"Girls Night In"June 9, 2013 (2013-06-09)2.01[49]
5010"Spirit on the Slopes"June 9, 2013 (2013-06-09)2.12[49]
5111"Bouffants and Bingo"June 16, 2013 (2013-06-16)1.82[50]
5212"The Pincushion"June 16, 2013 (2013-06-16)1.80[50]
5313"Once Upon a Dream"June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23)1.89[51]
5414"The Patient"June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23)1.93[51]
5515"Unseen"June 30, 2013 (2013-06-30)1.99[52]
5616"On the Road: Philadelphia"October 6, 2013 (2013-10-06)2.62[53]
5717"Construction Zone"October 13, 2013 (2013-10-13)1.66[54]
5818"Shoo Shoo Spirit"October 13, 2013 (2013-10-13)1.97[54]
5919"Spirit Left Behind"October 20, 2013 (2013-10-20)1.85[55]
6020"Gluten Free V"October 20, 2013 (2013-10-20)1.88[55]
6121"Momma's Boy"October 27, 2013 (2013-10-27)1.91[56]
6222"Diving Right In"October 27, 2013 (2013-10-27)1.88[56]
6323"When There's a Will..."November 3, 2013 (2013-11-03)1.99[57]
6424"Just Me and V in the Catskills"November 3, 2013 (2013-11-03)2.02[57]
6525"Bunny Love"November 10, 2013 (2013-11-10)1.68[58]
6626"Ready To Leave"November 10, 2013 (2013-11-10)1.72[58]
6727"Long Island Medium Revisited"November 17, 2013 (2013-11-17)1.77[59]
6828"Back to Normal"November 24, 2013 (2013-11-24)2.11[60]
6929"Christmas at the Caputo's"December 15, 2013 (2013-12-15)1.94[61]
7030"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)
711"On the Road: San Francisco"March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09)1.87[62]
722"This Nest Ain't Empty Yet"March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16)1.99[63]
733"A Change Is A-Comin"March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16)2.04[63]
744"Surprise Visit"March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23)1.63[64]
755"The Juice is Loose"March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23)1.79[64]
766"Back to School"March 30, 2014 (2014-03-30)1.59[65]
777"Medium Love"March 30, 2014 (2014-03-30)1.74[65]
788"Theresa Visits Jail"April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06)1.90[66]
799"Chinese New Year"April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06)1.98[66]
8010"It Ain't Easy Being Me"April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13)1.76[67]
8111"Out of the Attic"April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13)1.94[67]
8212"A Portrait"April 20, 2014 (2014-04-20)1.84[68]
8313"Sage is the Rage"April 20, 2014 (2014-04-20)1.80[68]
8414"Ashes to Art"April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27)1.80[69]
8515"Prayers for Petey"April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27)1.84[69]
8616"The Show Must Go On"May 4, 2014 (2014-05-04)1.84[70]
8717"Behind the Read IV"May 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)N/A
8818"On the Road: New Orleans"May 18, 2014 (2014-05-18)1.86[71]

Season 6 (2014)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
891"On The Road: Las Vegas Part I"August 3, 2014 (2014-08-03)1.48[72]
902"On The Road: Las Vegas Part II"August 10, 2014 (2014-08-10)1.40[73]
913"In the Out Door"August 17, 2014 (2014-08-17)1.59[74]
924"Helmet Head"August 17, 2014 (2014-08-17)1.60[74]
935"Put a Ring on It"[75]August 24, 2014 (2014-08-24)N/A
946"New Dog, Old Tricks"[75]August 24, 2014 (2014-08-24)N/A
957"Ugly Truckling"[75]August 31, 2014 (2014-08-31)N/A
968"Caputo Luau"September 7, 2014 (2014-09-07)N/A
979"Horsing Around"September 7, 2014 (2014-09-07)N/A
9810"Family Fundraiser"September 14, 2014 (2014-09-14)N/A
9911"Never Before Seen"September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21)N/A
10012"Put Up Your Dukes"September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21)N/A
10113"Gone Fishing"September 28, 2014 (2014-09-28)N/A
10214"Behind the Read V"October 5, 2014 (2014-10-05)N/A
10315"On the Road: DC"October 12, 2014 (2014-10-12)N/A

Season 7 (2015)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
1041"25 and Counting"March 8, 2015 (2015-03-08)N/A
1052"Dog Eat Dog Summer"March 15, 2015 (2015-03-15)N/A
1063"Back to My Roots"March 15, 2015 (2015-03-15)N/A
1074"Getting the Band Back Together"March 22, 2015 (2015-03-22)N/A
1085"Don't Give Up Your Day Job"March 22, 2015 (2015-03-22)N/A
1096"On the Road: Texas"March 29, 2015 (2015-03-29)N/A
1107"Coach Theresa"April 5, 2015 (2015-04-05)N/A
1118"Spirit Roll"April 5, 2015 (2015-04-05)N/A
1129"Return to Jail"April 12, 2015 (2015-04-12)N/A
11310"Roller Rink Romance"April 12, 2015 (2015-04-12)N/A
11411"When a Bedroom Door Closes, a Closet Door Opens"April 19, 2015 (2015-04-19)N/A
11512"Behind the Scenes of Knock & Shock"April 19, 2015 (2015-04-19)N/A
11613"Never Before Seen"April 26, 2015 (2015-04-26)N/A
11714"Theresa Loves Moms"May 3, 2015 (2015-05-03)N/A

Season 8 (2016)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
1181"Celebrity Spirit"January 3, 2016 (2016-01-03)N/A
1192"Spirit in Paradise: Snowbirds"January 10, 2016 (2016-01-10)N/A
1203"Spirit in Paradise: The Son Also Visits"January 10, 2016 (2016-01-10)N/A
1214"Spirit in Paradise: The Decision"January 17, 2016 (2016-01-17)N/A
1225"Before The Baby"January 17, 2016 (2016-01-17)N/A
1236"Line of Duty"January 24, 2016 (2016-01-24)N/A
1247"Parental Blessing"January 31, 2016 (2016-01-31)N/A
1258"I Don't Believe"January 31, 2016 (2016-01-31)N/A
1269"Haunted Houses"January 31, 2016 (2016-01-31)N/A
12710"Roller Rink Romance"April 12, 2015 (2015-04-12)N/A
12811"Wisdom Teeth"February 14, 2016 (2016-02-14)N/A
12912"Remembering Petey"February 14, 2016 (2016-02-14)N/A
13013"Theresa Reads Kids"February 21, 2016 (2016-02-21)N/A
13114"Theresa Loves Moms"March 6, 2016 (2016-03-06)N/A

Season 9 (2016)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
N/AN/ATBAN/ATBD

Season 10 (2017)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
1321"Reading the Stars"November 6, 2017 (2017-11-06)N/A
Reading for celebrities, Kelsey Grammer, Bob Harper, Mark McGrath, Chrissy Metz
1332TBANovember 13, 2017 (2017-11-13)N/A
1343"Freezing Theresa"November 20, 2017 (2017-11-20)N/A
Shark Tank Barbara Corcoran gets a reading. Meanwhile at a fundraiser, Theresa channels an accident victim for the distraught police officer who couldn't save him, and reads a man while she is inside the cryogenic freezing chamber
1354TBANovember 27, 2017 (2017-11-27)N/A
1365TBADecember 4, 2017 (2017-12-04)N/A
1376TBADecember 11, 2017 (2017-12-11)N/A
1387TBATBATBD
1398TBATBATBD
1409TBATBATBD
14110TBATBATBD

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Radford, Benjamin. "Here to Hereafter: Can Psychics Really Talk to the Dead?". Live Science. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Propatier, Stephen. "Susan Gerbic: Vampire Slayer". Skeptoid.com. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
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  4. ^ a b c 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.” 
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  13. ^ Cooper, Anderson (March 29, 2012). "Anderson after 'Long Island Medium' Theresa Caputo". Anderson Live. YouTube. Retrieved May 19, 2013. I'm pretty skeptical about all the psychic medium stuff...She seemed nice, and she was fun, but I just think [...] if you say to a room of 300 people, you know, "sombody here has lost a sister," there's a good chance [of that]...So I am skeptical. I think people just so want to believe in things [like that]. But you know, I am open to possibilities, I just want to see actual proof, and until that happens I just sort of feel like it's my job to be skeptical. 
  14. ^ "2012 Pigasus Awards Announcement". JREF. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
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External links[edit]