The Long Island Medium's New TV Special Is Being Labeled As Shameful. Here's Why

Theresa Caputo, TLC's "Long Island Medium," is once again learning that all-important lesson: you can't please all the people all the time. As TLC releases the new trailer for her upcoming special, which airs September 9 on TLC and Discovery+ and will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, not all of the responses to the trailer are positive.

Since its premiere in 2011, "Long Island Medium" has been a big hit for the network, for example winning the highest rating for a "non-sports program in cable primetime" in 2013, according to Deadline. The series features Long Island native Theresa Caputo, who claims an ability to speak with the dead as she helps "individuals connect with their departed loved ones," according to the TLC website. Taking place mostly in Caputo's hometown of Hicksville, Long Island, the show also follows Caputo as she gives readings to people — average citizens and celebrities alike — around the country. Season 14 aired its finale in December 2019, and they're gearing up for the new special in September.

Caputo, a divorced mom known as much for her bouffant hair as for her ability to help people deal with loss, is back for the special, during which she will provide readings to people who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. While some of her fans look forward to the special, not everyone is happy about it. Keep reading for details.

Many say the new Long Island Medium special is in poor taste

While there will be lots of September 11 programming commemorating the 20th anniversary of the attacks, many people feel uncomfortable about the upcoming "Long Island Medium: In Memory of 9/11" special. Theresa Caputo does readings for the families of people who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, including the daughter of "Dust Lady," Marcy Borders, a woman pictured in a widely-circulated photo following the attacks.

The Wrap called the special "cringey," stating that it has "already sparked outrage, given the extremely sensitive nature of a day where more than 3,000 American[s] died." CNN TV critic Brian Lowry simply said "yuck," while Reality TV writer Andy Dehnart tweeted "It's one thing for TLC, America's most repugnant cable network, to air psychic nonsense. But to use Sept. 11 victims' families for this bulls**t? What a disgrace."

Average viewers agree with TV critics about the new special. When TLC shared a trailer for the special on Instagram, one commenter said, "What a con" and "utterly shameful." Another wrote, "Once again exploiting these poor desperate family members," concluding with "this makes me sick to my stomach." Another said, "She is certainly taking advantage of the grief and pain of those who have lost loved ones. But hey, it makes for good tv." (Does it?) Caputo has at least one supporter though, who wrote "If this brings them comfort, it's not exploitation. ... I hope they find what they're looking for."