Tonight, CBS premieres its new series Ghosts
, which is an adaptation of the British series of the same name. The show follows couple Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), who are excited to learn they have inherited a large house in the country. However, when they check it out, not only is it in disrepair, but they soon discover it’s still inhabited by many of the previously deceased residents from over the years.
Cast members McIver, Utkarsh, Brandon Scott Jones, Richie Moriarty, Danielle Pinnock, Asher Grodman, Román Zaragoza, Sheila Carrasco, Rebecca Wisocky, Devan Chandler Long, and executive producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman recently talked to the press about the series as part of the TCA summer press tour.
The cast talked to SciFi Vision about whether they believe in ghosts. Long told a story about something that happened to him. “I'm staying in an apartment that was this building from the 1800s, and it was haunted for the first two weeks. Nothing's happened recently, but the first [time] I was there, there was this old guitar in my place, and the guitar string popped off at 5:00 in the morning. Then, pretty much the next two weeks, every night I would go to sleep, and just weird, creepy noises would happen. Things would fall off counters, lights would [change]. It sounds ridiculous, but I was alone, and honestly, I freaked out a little bit. I told the cast, and I actually told my wife, and she said that I should introduce myself and say who I am and what I'm doing up here; it's a Canadian ghost. They're probably nice and forgiving, and maybe they would be cool with me. I did that, and…it's been cool ever since. But it was touch and go there for a little bit. I didn't sleep a lot the first couple of weeks.”
McIver said that she wasn’t sure if she believed in ghosts or not, but she’s open to it. “I haven't witnessed or experienced something myself, but a lot of people I love and trust have. I'm definitely open to it. I feel like there's vibes in places for sure, and this house has a vibe.”
In adapting the series, some things were Americanized, according to Port. “We love the British show, but it does seem like something that is very tailor-made to adapt, because such a big part of the British show is those British archetypes that are their wonderful ghosts. So, Joe and I saw a big opportunity to put our own stamp on it with American archetypes for this show. Some of them bear quite a resemblance to their British counterparts, and others are big departures, but that’s just based on what was right for this area, where this house is, and what kind of American history took place in that region.”
The house is a really important part of the series. Wiseman explained that the show, which takes plays in the Hudson Valley of New York, was moved after the pilot. “The pilot was shot in Los Angeles. It was shot at a house at USC, but then, when we went to series, it was decided to shoot in Montreal, which works out, because, actually, we're not that far from the Hudson Valley, and they painstakingly recreated this house on the stage. I've been on some amazing sets, but you walk into that stage and it's just incredible the detail that they've sort of recreated and brought to it.”
According to Ambudkar, Ghosts
has a different energy than what CBS is known for. “For them to take a big swing with a comedy like this, which is supernatural, it's a little edgy at times. It's certainly as diverse as any other show, and they've been super open to our input, myself, Román, Danielle, Sheila, and what we have to say about our characters, but I think it's going to be really, really fresh for people to see this on CBS.”
Star of the show, McIver, who’s known for genre television, said that she was happy to return to it. “I guess I found my niche. I'm really excited to be back in a genre kind of theme…One of the things I get most excited about, and I was so fortunate with iZombie
to have this, is to see people dressing up, to see people getting lost in another world. I think some of the fans in this kind of theme are the most dedicated, creative, imaginable people out there. I feel really lucky that this world would take me back again.”
The actress continued to talk about enjoying the kind of escapism that comes from genre TV. “I think I always grew up with an appreciation that as an actor you get this chance to like go into this other world, whatever that might mean. I mean, as much as I have been able to hopefully play some grounded versions, and some more heightened or stylized things, I kind of feel like it's the best part of the job, being able to get in and dress up and become something that isn't just you every day. So, the escapism that comes in a show like this, and the humor, particularly right now, I just feel like something that I want to put on at the end of the day is something that makes me laugh and something that kind of is a great escape from whatever the day may have been. So, I feel like, I mean, as much as the genre stuff has always been fun, it's really like at its peak right now.”
Utkarsh plays opposite to McIver’s Sam. According to Grodman, both he and McIver play an important part in carrying the show since their characters can’t see the ghosts. “So much of what we're doing is really relying on Rose and Utkarsh, and Rose's ability to see eight people who are not there and Utkarsh's ability to have all this stuff happening and be able to kind of see the story through all that. So, we can go and jump off walls and do whatever we want, but we're really leaning on them to carry us, and they do an incredible job of that.”
McIver was quick to return the praise. “I think that you guys really hold your own. The patchwork of this cast honestly is extraordinary. When we look at the original show, which I'm such a fan of, the BBC Ghosts
, it's big shoes to fill. I didn't watch too much of it, because I didn't want to feel any more pressure than I did, but if you look around at the cast that we've assembled for the show, I feel so grateful. The Joes have done such a great job in bringing together people who have a natural chemistry that you feel when you watch the show.”
Be sure to watch the season premiere of Ghosts
, tonight on CBS.