Standing on the blue stage decorated with stars and galaxies, James Van Praagh looked out at his audience and smiled.
He scanned their faces, then stopped to talk with one of the women in the crowd.
"Your husband has passed, is that right?" he asked.
"Well, he's here with you now," he said. "He walked in right behind you."
Van Praagh, who works as a spiritual medium, is known for his book series and TV interviews about communicating with the dead.
Now, he's taking his work to a new television show filmed in the Boulder area for Gaiam TV.
Gaiam TV is a studio that streams spirituality and wellness shows online, similar to a New Age version of Netflix.
In addition to streaming documentaries, meditation and astrology shows and fitness videos, Gaiam TV films several original programs in its studio in Louisville.
Van Praagh's new show, "Spirit Talk," is the latest of Gaiam TV's original programming. It began streaming online this week and will run for 16 episodes.
Van Praagh will spend several months filming in Boulder before returning home to Laguna Beach, Calif.
Boulder is an ideal spot to film the series, he said.
"People are welcoming and loving, and the environment feels very clean," he said. "There's a sense of connectedness and community."
Van Praagh is best known for writing books about communicating with the dead, and he created and produced the Jennifer Love Hewitt show, "The Ghost Whisperer" (2005-10).
Van Praagh's work is controversial. Skeptics have said he plants actors in the audience or has made lucky predictions that are too generalized to be considered true clairvoyance.
Yet a Gaiam TV official said Van Praagh's work fits well with the studio's other offerings, which include documentaries from Deepak Chopra, Krishna Das and other spiritual leaders, as well as shows about guided meditation and yoga.
Van Praagh "brings his transformational message of love, hope and spiritual connection to a... broader audience," said Paul Richardson, a spokesman for Gaiam TV.
Though Van Praagh knows there are skeptics, he said he isn't trying to con anyone.
"I just want to help people here on Earth," he said.
At a recent taping of the show, Van Praagh talked with the audience about using chakras in their everyday life. Other episodes discuss topics such as miracles, auras and energy.
Audience members can request a spot on the set through Van Praagh's Facebook page, and many come with questions about loved ones who have died, he said.
In a recent taping, he talked with an audience member about her late husband.
"He calls it what it is, he's black and white, no fooling around," Van Praagh tells the woman about her husband. "He's a little full of himself, but he takes good care of you."
Van Praagh typically tells people about the love their family members and friends shared with the world before they died. Van Praagh said it is an important part of his work as a spiritual medium.
"I don't believe in religion per se," he said. "Religion is man-made, but all religions have bits of truth, not all truth. The goal is to get people back to the source, which is love. God is love."
To learn more about Van Praagh and his Boulder-based show, visit gaiamtv.com/show/spirit-talk
Contact Staff Writer Megan Quinn at 303-410-2649 or firstname.lastname@example.org