Space bets on Sci-Fi reality

Space has imported Sci Fi Investigates from the US for its January schedule. The show's got some healthy multiplatform activity backing it up south of the border - such as podcasts, online polls, webisodes and an active forum for fans - but will it grab Canadian eyeballs?

CHUM Television is putting a reality TV spin on the paranormal for its Saturday nights with a Jan. 6 premiere of Sci Fi Investigates, a one-hour weekly bid to draw X-Files fans to Space at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Produced by Sci Fi Channel in the US, the show features Survivor and Amazing Race alumnus Rob Mariano as a skeptical leader of three other investigators – a scientist, an author/historian, and a forensic expert.

The show hits all the chords one might expect from the paranormal reality genre. Bigfoot sightings, the Roswell alien cover-up controversy, and the afterlife are some of the touch points for the team’s explorations. The premiere episode takes them to New Orleans for a meeting with a voodoo priestess.

CHUM won’t need to do much to back up the offering with online features. The Sci Fi Channel in the US has devoted an interactive microsite for the show, featuring blogs, podcasts, webisodes, polls and a forum that’s drawn some healthy participation – from calls for the Survivor star to be kicked off the paranormal island, so to speak, to users posting personal experiences and photos from their own visits to certain paranormal sites. Intel and Microsoft can be found sponsoring content at the microsite.