Correcting Crossing

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In an attempt to build the ratings of Crossing Over With John Edward, Universal Domestic Television is tweaking the show's format to connect viewers more emotionally to what Edward does in his readings.

"After John reads someone, we'll have a conversation with that person and give the experience some more depth," says Steve Rosenberg, president of the syndicator. "We'll talk about why that reading was important to the person.

"There is some emotional charge to being in that environment and seeing someone go through a reading," he adds. "There's an energy in the live readings that we have not yet been able to capture on the television show. By including the stories and their background, we are giving the show more of what daytime TV is, which is emotion and drama."

Edward will spend more one-on-one time with people instead of solely doing readings for a studio audience. The show also will bring Edward outside the studio to delve more deeply into people's experiences.

To help accomplish this, Universal has added executive producer Elise Silvestri to the team, joining Paul Shavelson and Edward. "The idea of having another producer was to get another voice on the show, to get someone in there who could help turn it a little bit," Rosenberg says.

Crossing Over also airs in late night on the Sci Fi Channel, which is owned, along with Universal Domestic Television, by Vivendi Universal. The show, cleared in 98% of the U.S., returns for a third season today.

In the latest round of national ratings, closed the week ended Aug. 31, Crossing Over scored an 0.9, ranked 88th out of 130 syndicated shows. During the season, it hovered around a 1.2. More than one-third of its audience is women 25-54, according to Universal.

"There are so many shows that find an audience after some time on the air," Rosenberg says. "This show continues to feel like it's got that."

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