Idol Chatter

What if Joan Girardi, the lead character on CBS’s retired smash-hit “Joan of Arcadia,” heard a voice, but it wasn’t the voice of God. What if it was a voice telling her to do very bad things? Well, Joan’s family would have only had to call the exoricsts listed right there on the TV Guide channel listing. That’s right, the network that perfected the heartfelt, inspirational, spiritual drama–think “Touched by an Angel” and the aforementioned “Joan of Arcadia”–is turning to the dark side of the force to stay on top of the ratings pile.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that “Joan” creator Barbara Hall and uberproducer Joe Roth (“Little Man,” “Exorcist III”) have been given the green light to film a pilot for a show that will “revolve around exorcists and others who investigate supernatural phenomena.”

Bob Larson–talk-radio host and author of “Larson’s Book of Spiritual Warfare” and “Larson’s Book of Cults”–will be a consultant.

So why should you watch a scripted drama about supernatural phenomena and exorcisms when there are plenty of reality-based shows–“Ghost Hunters,” “Most Haunted,” Derek Acorah’s “Ghost Towns”–that do the same? For the drama. Reality show exorcisms are usually anticlimactic events, generally involving a group of people holding hands and saying a prayer or two to release trapped spirits from a dwelling. And that’s just not Hollywood enough for most viewers.