First critics rave about Ghosts' US remake | Comedy launches on CBS tomorrow © CBS

First critics rave about Ghosts' US remake

Comedy launches on CBS tomorrow

The first reviews of the US remake of Ghosts are in – and deemed it a hit.

Before the American version launches tomorrow night, The Wall Street journal said: ‘There are certainly no shows on TV more spirited than Ghosts right now and there may be none funnier.’

Meanwhile, The New York Post said what makes it work is that the ghosts are ‘all likable and witty in ways that are unique to their personalities’, adding: ‘It’s all in good fun and each episode travels along at a brisk clip.’

And The Wrap called it ‘delightful, if not that powerful… it’s charming once it gets going past its very premisey premise.’

The website TVLine  said ‘the chorus of ghosts is a comedic masterstroke’ but doubted whether CBS, usually seen as the most conservative of the US networks. was the right home. Reviewer Dave Nemetz went as far to predict it would be cancelled after a single series. ‘But while it’s here, let’s at least appreciate it while we can,’ he added,

However Ghosts airs on primetime on BBC One in the UK with no question that its premise is too bizarre. And network bosses also appear to have confidence in the comedy, rejigging  their schedules so it can launch tomorrow with two back-to-back episodes.

One review that bucked the trend came from the website Distractify, which said the remake compared badly to the UK original, arguing: ‘Its jokes are mostly trite and its characters’ hardships are played for cheap laughs; lazy punchlines and cliché jokes subsist where three-dimensional characters and narrative development should be.’

In the new version, Rose McIver plays Samantha, the only person who can see the spirits in the crumbling pile that she and her husband Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), inherited. The roles are played by Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe.

Speaking to the New York Post ahead of the launch, McIver said: ‘It was one of the first scripts I read in a long time where I laughed off the page. It was so clever.  ‘I loved the ensemble nature of it, and the way they all pepper different flavours into this group dynamic.’

And she said of the BBC One original: ‘I’m a huge fan.. I think Charlotte Ritchie is so brilliant,’

The ghosts in the US version  are:

Hetty: A 19th Century matriarch played by Rebecca Wisocky, Samantha’s ancestor
Isaac: Played by Brandon Scott Jones, he’s a foppish War Of Independence hero, jealous of Alexander Hamilton.
Alberta: A Jazz Age diva Alberta played by Danielle Pinnock, who may have been murdered
Trevor: A party-loving 1980s Wall Street bro, played by Asher Grodman
Sasappis: A sarcastic Native American played by Roman Zaragoza
Flower: A 1960s hippie played by Sheila Carrasco
Pete: A Scout leader who died by getting an arrow through his neck played by Richie Moriarty
Thorfinn: A fish-obsessed Viking played by Devan Long

Executive producers of the new show include the team who devised the BBC original and play several of the ghosts: Mathew Baynton, Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby, Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond and Martha Howe-Douglas.

Ghosts premieres at 9pm on Thursday on CBS. 

Published: 6 Oct 2021

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