'Ghost Whisperer': Are you ready to jump five years into the future?

ghost-whisperer_lLast season, Ghost Whisperer took a huge creative risk. Jim (David Conrad), the supportive husband of Melinda (Jennifer Love Hewitt) died, refused to cross over, and stepped into the body of a dying man named Sam. Melinda and viewers knew Sam was Jim, but it took Jim, whose soul suffered some sort of amnesia in its new body (which viewers still saw as Conrad’s), some time to figure it out. He finally did, and the season ended with the couple learning that they were pregnant (the baby is Jim-Jim’s) and that the child will be able to do “much, much more” than his mother, who can see and hear dead people.

It paid off: For the first time, when CBS talked about the show’s renewal, the word “no-brainer” was used. “That conversation had never gone that way before,” executive producer P.K. Simonds admits. “We were in a much stronger position, and that had everything to do with the risk that we took and the new life that we injected into the show. I think sometimes the audience forgets that they’re looking at a choice: Either they watch their show take risks and sometimes frustrate or annoy them, or they find themselves in a letter writing campaign to save the show. Luckily, no one had to write any letters to save us, and that’s a nice position to be in. We lost some viewers, too, and I’m very, very regretful about that. Obviously, my hope in the end is that we’ve gained more than we lost.”

In Season 5 (premiering tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CBS), the show doubles down: After Hewitt directs her own labor scene (!), it flashes forward five years. The jump allows them to get son Aiden (Connor Gibbs) to an age where he can actually be “the key” watcher Carl said he’d be in the season 4 finale and to get Jim through medical school. He’s now practicing at a hospital that will become “the centerpiece of our storytelling and the new interesting dark places we intend to go,” Simonds says. Here, Simonds offers more teases for what we can expect in season 5

• Aiden’s gifts to create drama. “It’s a mystery in the first episode what those abilities may or may not be,” Simonds says. “This child can see and sense things that Melinda can’t, and some of those things that he sees are things that don’t want to be seen and that no one in our world has seen yet. They’re threatened, and when things are threatened, sometimes they take action.”

• For the first time, a view of what happens after you see the light. This is a spiritual show, not a religious show,” Simonds says. “We’re not trying to make any big religious statement about what happens next. But we do think that there’s this metaphysical question that we’ve always had on the show: Melinda is able to see and communicate with spirits who are on that specific plane of existence that is beyond life but before what we’ve been calling the light. We’ve never said what happens when they leave that plane and cross over or under. What we’re basically saying is that it’s a little more complicated than it appears, and there’s beauty but there’s also darkness. If there’s someone or something that lives on that next plane, what relationship do they have to the rest of us? Are they friendly or are they not? The answer is both. When they’re not friendly, how much jeopardy do they pose to our characters? The answer is a lot.”

• More Jim! He will have a new and deeper involvement in what Melinda does,” Simonds says. “The hospital is where a lot of the action takes place. The thing about hospitals is, a lot of people die there. Hospitals are especially haunted places. Hospitals have morgues, and this one is no exception. In fact, this is a very interesting morgue with a lot of its own mojo.”

• Melinda to have more worries than your average mother: “She’s the mother of someone very, very special and she has an obligation that any parent feels — you want to raise your child well and hope that they’ll contribute something to world — but she has the added burden of knowing that this child could, because of his gifts, play an even greater role. She’s not raising the savior, but she’s raising a child who could have a huge impact in making the world safer from dark forces that most of those around them don’t even know exist.”

• New storylines for Delia (Camryn Manheim), Ned (Christoph Sanders), and Eli (Jamie Kennedy). “Delia has gotten her real estate business back on its feet, partnered with somebody, and opened her office which is next to Melinda’s store. She’s dating, not one but several guys,” Simonds says. “Ned is now at Rockland University, and largely the result of growing up around Melinda, he majors in anthropology of the occult and is able to provide some occasional research into the phenomena she’s up against. We finally get to meet Eli’s parents under circumstances that only our characters could.”

• An interesting Halloween episode. “Knowing ghosts are real does make Halloween a little more complicated for Aiden,” Simonds says.

• The series’ 100th episode. It’s the 15th episode this season, and it too will be directed by Hewitt. “It promises to be explosive,” Simonds adds. “That’s all I’m going to say.”

Are you psyched for Season 5 now? Or are you already frustrated and annoyed?

Photo credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Comments (81 total) Add your comment
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  • Kris

    Sounds like a great season, I can not wait to watch.

    • April Iorio Kolen

      I think it was exactly what the show needed.I hated Jim dying but that saga seemed to have cleaned itself up nicely.I thought GW was getting too predictable and needed shaking up.Now it has more directions to turn too.Carry on!

  • FRED

    Its great to see creators of the show to shake up the premise of the show……hopefully leading to a new edgier show……Law and Order SVU also did it too.
    Both shows look to have a fresh and more exciting look for this season.

  • Curt

    All the turmoil and shakeup last season pretty much ruined me on the show and I quit watching. The last episode I watched was the one where Ghost-Jim found a ring and was debating whether or not to track down the woman he bought the ring for. I’ll give the show a try tonight, but I can already tell I don’t like the concept of having the kid be the focus of the show. GW is going to have to go above and beyond tonight to win me back as a regular viewer.

  • devana miller

    ilove ur movie am from philcambel al and plz ad me as ur friend on my space look me up at devana miller

  • JM

    Nothing ruins a show faster than a baby or little kid.

    • anonymous Q

      MJ, Juanita and Celia ruined Desperate Housewives, for example.
      It would be better if the kid was 10 or a teen now.
      We’ll see.

  • liz

    @JM, the babies/kids, didn’t ruin “charmed”

    • p3

      i love charmed, but it was much better the first 4 seasons when piper wasnt pregnant or had a kid because the focus was on the SISTERS the way the show was supposed to be. if they keep the focus more on melinda and less on her kid, the show will be fine.

  • liz

    I can’t wait to see “Melindas” baby! With her powers, magnified, this season is gonna rock, AGAIN!!

  • Tarrell

    I can’t believe GW is back for season 5 tonight, but only this time, it will flash forward five years into the future. It’s nothing new on TV. DH and OTH both have similar time jumps in past seasons.

  • cindykayp

    I love this show. Even though I knew Jim was going to die last season, I cried my eyes out when it happened. So glad he’s back. Can’t wait for the new season; it should be awesome!

  • sally1018

    I can’t wait! I loved the direction of the story last season with Jim and Melinda.

  • GWFAN2009

    I love the direction that the show has taken! So excited to watch tonight. It takes serious guts to move the focus of the show and transition so smoothly to a new and fresh storyline. It’s all about growth and I think that the dedicated viewers have seen that and will follow. I agree, that the execution had better be stellar to hold the attention of fans, but the overall idea is edgy and seems phenomenal!

  • Luis PJ

    So the world dosen’t end in 2012…nice to know

  • Trisha

    OMG! I am so excited for the new season. I had the pleasure to meet Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jaime Kennedy in person when they came to Utah a couple of months ago for Jaime Kennedy’s comedy tour. She is sweet in person and sooooo beautiful. I have pictures with her and they both were pretty cool. I love watching Ghost Whisperer and was sad and frustrated last season but it all came around where Jim came back and now having a kiddo. :) watching tonight for sure!

  • Jane

    I’ve watched 20 min of the new season and absolutely HATE it. They just ruined my once favorite show!

    • Moe

      Ditto Jane

  • Darlene

    I am really excited about the upcoming season of ghost whisperer. It has been my favorite show since it started. Although I missed the episode when jim dies and a few after that which did confuse me I still moved along with the rest of the season and will watch the reruns on the sci fi channel so I can see what happened them few shows I missed. Anyway keep up the great work with the show and I hope to see more seasons in the future.

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