LOS ANGELES -- While the title may seem obvious, there is more to "Ghosts", than just what happens in the night.
Joe Wiseman, producer, said that the show is "What We Do in the Shadows" meets Ted Lasso.
You'll see what Wiseman, Joe Port, and their collaborator, Ted are up to with the CBS sitcom. It airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET and streams on Paramount+.
Rose McIver stars as Jay and Utkarsh ambudkar plays Samantha in "Ghosts". He's a rising chef and she's a freelance journalist. They live the big-city lifestyle. She inherits a New York mansion in the Hudson Valley. On a whim she hires Jay to renovate it as a bed and breakfast.
It turns out that the house is occupied by deadbeat guests who have deep emotional ties and died on the property. They are scared of the idea of sharing their homes with the living.
The eight eerie characters include a Viking explorer (Devon Chandler Long); a lounge singing singer from the early 20th Century (Danielle Pinnock); a 1960s hippie ("Sheila Carrasco"), an 1980s financial shark (“Asher Grodman”) and a 16th-century native man (Roman Zaragoza), all with great comic timing.
Samantha is able to interact with the departed after a near-fatal accident, which gives her the ability to see them and interact with them. They are much more interesting than they seem. Based on the BBC series of the identical name, the series is shot in Montreal to serve as an alternative for New York.
"When I first read the pilot script, it was the first time in a long while that I just laughed out loud. McIver stated that he loves comedy TV.
She isn't sure why "interacting with afterlife has been a very large part of my career", as she stated, with "iZombie", "The Lovely Bones", and other TV and movie credits. It's not something I seek out. "I don't know if there's something in it," said the actor, drolly.
Ambudkar, who said he was reluctant to join the series due to the pandemic restrictions that delayed production, credits his costar for helping him to change his mind.
He was pleased with the project's clever premise. It is a fresh take on "dysfunctional family comedy" and it alternate approach to the 3-camera sitcom format with a laughtrack.
Ambudkar recalls that he watched five minutes of BBC's show and saw the single-camera format. "I was struck by the humor used and thought that it could work.
They exchange compliments with great enthusiasm.
McIver stated, "We call him an amicable weapon." McIver said that Utkarsh is a master of improv and always has something to offer. Our relationship has been one of mutual respect and cooperation.
Ambudkar stated that Rose is dedicated to her craft and her castmates. She does her off-camera work with the same enthusiasm as she does her on-camera work. It's great when your No. 1. is present and invested in everyone else's success."
McIver stated that McIver was able to get back to work because of the "beacon" it provided. This helped her weather the COVID-19 pandemic. She said, "And in return, we hope it brings joy to the audience after what has been such a terrible year."
The Emmy-darling, buoyant "Ted Lasso", on Apple TV+, is considered that type of antidote. It also has the added benefit of being part of a streaming universe with rapidly growing appeal for both the TV industry as well as viewers.
Producers Port and Wiseman rebut the notion that networks can't produce series equivalent to those online, while noting that "Ghosts", thanks to CBS sibling Paramount+, has a foot both in one world.
Port stated that it wasn't long ago that awards were given to broadcast comedies. ABC's "Modern Family", which was broadcast on ABC, won its fifth consecutive Emmy for best comedy series in 2014. Since then, streaming and cable have been dominant.
Port stated that the line between streaming and broadcasting is "a little blurred". For example, Ted Lasso's "Ted Lasso" is not the most edgy show. It's a show that is uplifting and could easily be broadcast.
He described the Apple TV+ comedy as a "traditionally well-done, single camera sitcom," which sounds hauntingly similar to "Ghosts."