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"Ghost Hunters" off to college

By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Sci Fi Channel's "Ghost Hunters" is about to get a higher education.

The network has ordered a pilot for another spinoff of the popular reality franchise from executive producer Craig Piligian.

Tentatively titled "Ghost Hunters: College Edition," the show features a group of students going around the country to seek out paranormal activity.

The students will be guided by an experienced ghost investigator. Producers have not determined if any cast members from the other shows will be involved in the new project.

"Hunters" launched in 2004 starring two Rhode Island plumbers who investigate purportedly haunted houses in their spare time. The show has since grown every season and is now Sci Fi's second highest-rated series (after new drama "Sanctuary"). The October 8 "Hunters" episode scored an all-time high of 2.7 million total viewers.

"'Ghost Hunters' appeals to a wide demographic, and we felt the college edition would be a great asset to the franchise," Piligian said.

The first spinoff, "Ghost Hunters International," took the format around the world. The show debuted in January to record ratings and enjoyed a successful seven-episode run, averaging 2.4 million viewers. "International" has been renewed for a second season.

Sci Fi's "Ghost Hunters" franchise has been an on-brand and relatively affordable success for the network. The new show is sure to prompt comparisons to A&E's "Paranormal State," where Pennsylvania college students investigate supernatural claims. A&E launched "State" last year and, along with Travel Channel's U.K. import "Most Haunted," has given Sci Fi's "Hunters" brand some paranormal-investigation-genre company on basic cable.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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