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A decade ago, fans of the CBS TV show, Ghost Whisperer gained first-hand knowledge of the heartbreak that goes along with learning your favorite show has been taken off the air. Everyone has been in this position at least once in their life. When it happens, it’s natural to rant and rave about how the network executives don’t know what they’re doing. While it won’t bring the show back, at least fans can now learn why Ghost Whisperer was canceled.

Jennifer Love Hewitt as Melinda on 'Ghost Whisperer'
Ghost Whisperer | Michael Desmond/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

What is Ghost Whisperer

Ghost Whisperer explored the life of Melinda Gordon. The fictional show displayed the ups and downs Melinda faced while she tried to balance her abilities as a woman who craved a normal life, despite being able to see and also communicate with ghosts. Melinda, who was portrayed by Jennifer Love Hewitt, was responsible for helping the souls of the lost to cross over to the next realm. While Ghost Whisperer is considered fictional, that doesn’t mean there weren’t elements of reality to it.

An example of this is the real-life person who was the inspiration for Melinda Gordon. Show creators based the character on the paranormal investigator, Mary Anne Winkowski. It turns out that Mary Anne was pleased by how her fictional alter-ego turned out, according to Start TV, saying:

“I only met with John Gray, and that was for about three hours, but he must have really been paying attention because a lot of what we talked about showed up in the pilot … and Jennifer Love Hewitt’s expressions capture a lot of the looks I give. She’s got that down perfectly.”

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s ghostly past

One of the interesting things about Jennifer Love Hewitt is that she appears to believe in ghosts, which likely made it easier for her to play a ghost whisperer. Mary Anne Winkowski went to Hewitt’s house where she discovered two ghosts. She encouraged the ghosts to leave, allowing Hewitt to return to a peaceful existence.

“If you start feeling very lethargic, and you have throat problems or really bad headaches, a lot of times that can sometimes mean there is nothing wrong with you physically, but also that you have a ghost,” says Hewitt in a CBS interview. “They’re drawing on your energy. They draw on your upset, on your stress, on your tired, on your emotions, and whatever else is going on with you at the time. Because they pull your energy, you feel like you’re sick.”

It turns out that the ghostly experiences weren’t limited to Hewitt’s home. Many cast and crew members reported that there were times when strange, even possibly paranormal, things happened on set. There are stories about strange backstage photos and lights exploding. 

Why was Ghost Whisperer canceled?

Ghost Whisperer had a five-season run before it was abruptly canceled. Understandably, fans of the show were both shocked and outraged. Hewitt understood the fan reaction to the cancellation news. According to TV Series Finale, Hewitt hoped that ABC would pick up the show and let it run for at least one more season so that Melinda Gordon would get the ending Hewitt felt she deserved. CBS chose to end their association with the show because it simply didn’t have strong enough ratings for the network to justify picking it up. 

“It’s sad, but shows don’t stay on the air forever,” CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler explained in a Digital Spy article. “It was surprising to us, too. If we didn’t have the strength coming out of the development season, we might not have had the opportunity to do it.” While ABC did express some interest in taking up the contract, Deadline reported that the network simply couldn’t figure out how to make the finances work out. While there’s no confirmation of a reboot, fans will be happy to know Jennifer Love Hewitt is interested — only if she comes back as Melinda and keeps her “Ghost Whisperer throne,” according to the LA Times.