NEW YORK – Crossing Over with John Edward is tweaking its daytime format -- incorporating more celebrity readings into its talking-to-the-dead formula.
"This is the show we always wanted to put in daytime -- it's the show we all wanted to do," said Crossing Over executive producer Paul Shavelson.
"The show was created for SCI FI and then rocketed into syndication -- it never transformed itself when it went into daytime," Shavelson said. "We've always had celebrities on the show but we've never had a [show] cycle with them.
"What we'll have now is more [celebrity readings] than we had before."
Edward's SCI FI show, which airs 11 p.m. Sunday, had some memorable celebrity readings, including a one-hour special with Touched By an Angel star Roma Downey and a reading with movie star Kirsten Dunst.
The previous daytime version of Crossing Over was comprised of the "couple of hundred" SCI FI shows Edward had done that were moved to daytime.
Now that he is creating new shows for the daytime version, Edward will include more of those readings in the syndicated version of Crossing Over.
"In the coming season we'll have Jenny McCarthy, a good part of The Backstreet Boys and Coolio," Shavelson said. "Here's a guy [Coolio] who was a total cynic -- and by the end of his ‘read' he was practically begging to do on-air promos for the show."
Shavelson said many celebrities have expressed interest in appearing on the show. "I think people want to know about the process," he said. "Jenny [McCarthy] flew her mom in at her own expense to join her for her reading."
The celebrity reads won't necessarily air every day. "John loves these people and really doesn't prioritize [the audience] as opposed to anyone else in grief," Shavelson said.
Shavelson denied that the format-tweaking has anything to do with James Van Praagh, the best-selling author who will get his own talking-to-the-dead show, James Van Praagh.
But he did announce some other changes in store for Crossing Over.
"We'll be offering people, through a lottery system, the chance to get John in their living room with a group of friends for a private reading," he said.