Traditionally, when I pen a feature about a personality I focus solely on that individual. But, I would be remiss if I did not begin this piece on legendary psychic John Edward without a personal mention of what happened in my life and how this man made a positive impact.
Time heals all wounds. At least that was what I was told back in that horrific summer when my beloved brother, Jeffrey Berman, passed away unexpectedly. He was just 22 years of age, I was 19, and, quite frankly, I am not really all that sure how any of us – my parents and myself – survived this.
At the time, therapy was considered taboo. The average teenager — my peers — had no comprehension of the severity of this. And, to be honest, I was just plain fed up with the adults who told me to “take care of your parents.” So, I went on a mission, and that was to get some form of validation, anything, to ease my pain and put me in the mindset that there is something beyond this life.
That mission took 25 years.
For years, I read anything and everything on the topic of life after life, but I still felt empty. I invested in those “dime store” psychics, which I blame for some of the skepticism out there on this subject. And I began to see a series of therapists who only seemed to make my longing for this validation even worse. Then I watched TV show “Crossing Over with John Edward,” which began on the former Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) and moved into first-run daytime syndication. I needed to sit in that studio audience.
Ultimately, I went to three tapings of “Crossing Over.” Ironically, everyone around me seemed to get a reading from John. I did not. But when I left, I was convinced this man has a true gift, and what struck me about him then, which I can vouch for now, is the sincerity – and the often accuracy — he brings in doing this work.
Weeks later, to my surprise, a representative of Universal, which produced “Crossing Over,” told me John would do a private reading. The only request I received was to bring anyone else who wanted to reach the same person I did. So, my parents and I headed to John’s office in Huntington, New York. The year was 2003.
While I will skip the private details, when John opened by inquiring who Beatrice was at the reading I knew he had a special gift. Beatrice was my father’s oldest sister who died at age 21 when he was only five in 1936.
That said, I ultimately did receive the validation I was hoping for. We all did, actually. And, thankfully, this was not the last reading I received from John. In fact, when my work life took an uncertain turn three years ago, John was the one who gave me the direction – and the courage — to travel the independent route.
So, what I learned then, which is key to his continued success, is there is so much more to John Edward than just “channeling” the deceased. He also offers guidance for the living, which is a pivotal addition. And because I still have a voice, I want to use it right now to preach the return of John Edward to either traditional television or on a streaming platform.
Media Support and an Impressive Resume
“If nothing else at all, whether you believe him or not, John Edward is simply entertaining,” Robert Russo, president of RNR Consulting told me. “And he is entertaining in a way that we don’t have on TV during daytime at the moment. He has a great personality; there are people out there that swear by him, and there are people like me, somewhat doubters, that are still interested in and amazed at what he does.”
”Following his success the interest in psychic mediums has become even more mainstream than it was back then,” noted media analyst Bill Carroll. “And his marquee name adds value.”
“Crossing Over with John Edward” began on Sci-Fi Channel in 2000 and aired in first-run syndication from 2001 to 2004. In that time frame, 2002, to be exact, John was named one of People Magazine’s Most Intriguing People of the Year. His second regularly scheduled series, “John Edward Cross Country,” ran on WE tv from 2006 to 2008. Earlier, John came to national prominence with appearances on talk shows like “Larry King Live,” “Sally Jessy Raphael” and “Maury Povich” and, more recently, on “Oprah,” “Dr. Phil” and “”Dr. Oz.”
Through it all, John’s private readings and live events grew in prominence, his appearances on TV broadened broadened (including a guest shot on NBC’s “Will & Grace”), and his name became synonymous with something countless others have tried to capitalize on ever since.
Additionally, John’s first published book was New York Times Best Seller “One Last Time” in 1998, which offered a detailed look at his journey. Seven books, to-date, have followed, including novel “What If God Were The Sun?,” which morphed into a Lifetime movie with Gena Rowlands (and an Emmy nomination for Ms. Rowlands as a result). And, in 2007, John launched his first digital network, which ultimately evolved…pun intended…into the online community Evolve at johnedward.net. Featured at Evolve at present is weekly web series “Evolve with John Edward.”
The Psychic Category and the Landscape at Present
“The shows of this nature on the air now, ‘Long Island Medium’ and ‘Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry’ included, owe their roots to John Edward,” explained Bill Carroll. “While the category has become less unique, it is now accepted as something more a part of everyday culture. Just mention John Edward’s name and most people will realize who he is and what his skills are. And, because of their growing prominence as content providers, I can see the digital streamers, in particular, benefiting by his value.”
“There is so much need for content, an infinite amount of space on digital, and there is a built-in attraction for John Edward that is likely to get an audience,” added media consultant Brad Adgate. “For a streamer like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, who are expanding to all subjects and all genres, this could open the door to more subscribers. And for the millennial generation this could be a new discovery.”
“Then there is the controversy about John Edward,” noted Adgate, which he thinks only strengthens his value. “Controversy means people are talking, which is this growing world of social media will only raise the profile of any show he is doing…and the platform he is on.”
John Edward – The Medium
“Basically, I am hearing, feeling and seeing information simultaneously, and I have to then verbalize this as if I am watching a movie and telling someone who can’t see it,” said John. “My abilities are clairvoyance, which means clear seeing; clairaudience, which means clear hearing; and clairsentience, which is clear feeling. But because I was raised in a Italian family, I was taught you work a regular job to support your family. It wasn’t until I met my wife, who convinced me to make this my mission.”
“I feel like there is a need in the space right now for my return, where people are in a very chaotic divided place,” he noted. “If I could find the right vehicle and network that would allow me to do what I do, in a real, organic way – not overly produced, not reality based – I would do it.”
“On ‘Crossing Over’ I walked out and I did a reading, and I did another reading,” added John. “And I am not about to change who I am. I want to educate, I want to offer guidance and support, and I want to do it in an entertaining fashion. But it would be different because I have evolved.”
Another Edward in the Limelight
While John continues to make inroads in his field, there is another Edward in the spotlight, 11-year old Olivia, who portrays Duke, the youngest daughter on FX sitcom “Better Things.”
“Her career is like mine,” noted proud father John. “One thing leads to the next one, and the next one and the next one. And we both look ahead towards these new and exciting things. That is what I wish for everyone.”