Unscripted

Exclusive clip: E!’s “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry”

Hollywood medium Tyler Henry is returning to E! to deliver readings to celebrities looking for advice, connection and closure. In this upcoming season of Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, Tyler sits down with Tanya ...
May 8, 2017

Hollywood medium Tyler Henry is returning to E! to deliver readings to celebrities looking for advice, connection and closure.

In this upcoming season of Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, Tyler sits down with Tanya Thicke just months after her late husband, Alan Thicke, passed away from heart complications.

Additional celebrities meeting with Tyler include Khloe Kardashian, Bobby Brown, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Eva Longoria, Ryan Lochte, Ru Paul, T-Boz, Lisa Vanderpump, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Mel B, Janice Dickinson, Patti Stanger, Nico Tortorella, Johnny Weir, Kim Zolciak Biermann, Reza Farahan, Joanna Krupa, Elisha Cuthbert, Nancy Grace, Portia De Rossi, Tabatha Coffey, Mischa Barton, Brett Eldredge, Jaleel White, Dr. Drew, Marlee Matlin, Lil’ Kim, The Chrisleys,  Ice-T and Coco and more.

Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry is produced by Emmy-nominated 44 Blue Productions and Corbett-Stern Productions in association with Mortar Media. Michael Corbett, Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch, Larry Stern, Cameron Kadison and Sarah Skibitzke serve as Executive Producers.

The new season begins Wednesday, May 17 at 8pm ET/PT on E!

Realscreen sat down with Stephanie Drachkovitch, president and co-founder of 44 Blue, to chat about the success of the series. Check out the interview and a exclusive clip of the new season below:

How would you describe Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry for those who aren’t familiar?
Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry is unlike anything else on television because there is only one Tyler Henry. Through his intimate and personal readings, viewers get to see an entirely new side to their favorite celebrities and connect with them on a much deeper level through their heartfelt and emotional experience. Tyler is able to show viewers that these celebrities are really just like us and through their stories he provides hope, optimism and closure not only for them, but for us at home!

What was the genesis for this series?
Our producing partner Michael Corbett met Tyler at a gathering of friends several years ago where he was instantly taken by his beautiful spirit, and realized there was absolutely no one else like him on television. It was then that he and his producing partners, Larry Stern and Cameron Kadison, introduced us to Tyler and together with E!, we collaborated to create the show as you see it today.

Why do you think there is an appetite for another season?
We know there’s an appetite after being the highest-rated, non-spinoff premiere for E! last year. Watching the show continued to grow in ratings and bring new viewers to E! really gave us the reassurance that there are more stories to be told and that people want more from Tyler. As producers we witnessed the outpouring of engagement on social media and have been inundated by celebrity reps asking for readings. His waiting list is over 10,000 people right now! I think for viewers, each and every reading is like an individually wrapped gift – you don’t want to unwrap it because it’s so beautiful, but you can hardly wait to be surprised by what’s inside.

What was it about Tyler and his readings that left audiences wanting more?
He connects with each person he reads on such a thoughtful, personal level. He does such a great job creating a “safe place” for questions, feelings and emotions that viewers are really able to connect with the celebrity. He is just so authentic and really one of the most likeable people. Tyler lets us see celebrities in a way we’re not used to seeing them—it’s not a quick red-carpet soundbite or pre-interviewed story on a talk show— viewers get a chance to be in the experience right alongside the celebrity. Watching from home you feel that connection and for most of us, we can relate to whatever story we’re hearing on some level. Either in our own lives or the lives of someone close to us.

What challenges did you face with production and how did you overcome?
One of the biggest challenges we continue to face is how to juggle so many requests for readings. We could easily be in production nonstop year-round, but, we have to pace ourselves. Tyler is like an athlete — we always want to make sure he has what he needs in terms of mental preparedness, time, space and rest.

Another challenge we faced from the very beginning was figuring out how to ensure that Tyler has no idea who he is going to read. He does not want to know who he is reading, so with our amazing showrunner Sarah Skibitzke, we had to put some elaborate systems in place to ensure that he couldn’t accidentally discover who would open the door when he knocked and the realness of his reading would remain intact. For example, we do not do the typical television pre-interviews of our celebs to find out who they might want to make contact with on the other side. We “fly blind” with no pre-interviews because we as producers do not want to have any knowledge of their story, nor do we want the celebrity to think we may have passed information onto Tyler. He doesn’t drive, so neither his mom nor Tyler are ever given an address of where we’re going. They simply follow our production vehicles and arrive when we arrive. We’ve even had him park away from the location so he doesn’t know which house we’re walking up to. Things like that are what really make this production successful.

What elements of Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry make it different from other unscripted projects on air today?
We truly are a “fly on the wall” from the moment we start shooting, to the moment we wrap. We are listening in on the visions he is getting in the car on the way to the reading, we are watching the reading unfold in real time with no interruptions. We do not put him in “situations” or “scenes.” All of those things are done with great intention to preserve the authenticity of the show. Like with all of our shows, whether it’s “Nightwatch,” “Lockup,” or “Wahlburgers,”— we take great pride in how we approach the experience and storytelling. We aim to be as “invisible” as possible. Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry in particular could almost be considered a bit of a throwback—it’s two people simply having an intimate conversation on camera.

What did you learn during the production of this project that you think would be valuable to other professionals in the industry?

One of the most important things for us at 44 Blue is that when we work with talent, we always allow them to be themselves and never force them to be someone they’re not. Unscripted television is typically all about “loud” characters, and our network executive team of Damla Dogan, Julie St. Aubin. Aubin and Jeff Olde recognized that Tyler’s “loudness” was his unique spirit and gift. They didn’t make us force him into something he wasn’t. They allowed us to capture Tyler’s essence organically through his readings and his natural interactions with people.

What’s your favourite moment from the series?

There are so many! Christopher Knight connecting to his father, a skeptical Moby being blown away by Tyler revealing something no one else could’ve known, Bobby Brown sharing his innermost thoughts and Monica Potter’s beautiful moment of feeling her father in the room. Then there’s that mischievous glimmer in the late Alan Thicke’s eyes and his widow’s emotional reconnection with Tyler months after Alan had passed away. That was so powerful. And I can’t forget about Tyler’s mom Theresa, she’s become one of America’s favorite moms! Whether it’s the endearing and funny moments of Tyler teaching her what Twitter is or her singing Biggie Smalls’ lyrics, or just seeing her genuinely speechless after meeting some of the biggest stars in the world. She’s such an important part of this show and production for us.

What are you most excited for viewers to see this season from the show and from tyler?

We have an amazing collection of readings and stories…from Eva Longoria, Khloe Kardashian, Bobby Brown and Dr. Drew to Lil Kim, Portia de Rossi, Marlee Matlin and Allison Janney. It’s such an addictive show—one reading ends and you can hardly wait to see the next one!

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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