Joe Wiseman (‘Ghosts’ co-showrunner): The show’s large, diverse cast is ‘an embarrassment of riches’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“Quite honestly, they should do it all over the world. There should be a ‘Ghosts Peru’ and there should be a ‘Ghosts China,’ it’s very portable,” declares co-showrunner Joe Wiseman on the concept behind the hit CBS comedy “Ghosts,” which is based on a British sitcom of the same name. “When you get asked to adapt something, you’re like, why does this need to be adapted? And why would this work here? And in this particular case, it seemed like an incredibly portable idea. You know, the premise is there’s a house that is inhabited by a bunch of ghosts who lived there for the past centuries,” he explains, adding for our recent Q&A, “why not place it here and then fill it with American ghosts or wherever the location that you’re going to do?”

We talked with Wiseman as part of Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with 2022 Emmy Awards contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

SEE over 200 interviews with 2022 Emmy contenders

“Ghosts” was adapted by Wiseman and fellow co-showrunner Joe Port. It centers on journalist Samantha (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), who after inheriting an old mansion, throw caution to the wind and decide to relocate and convert it into a bed and breakfast. However, the house just so happens to be haunted by people who have died there over the course of history and that eclectic group of ghouls includes a Viking, hippie, scout troop leader, native American and 80s stockbroker.

The freshman sitcom has scored an impressive 94% “fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with the site’s critical consensus praising the “excellent ensemble” and lauding it for its “genial wit” making “for easy, softly spooky viewing.” “Ghosts” has also been a consistently strong performer for CBS, setting the bar for the broadcast network as the biggest comedy debut this season.

“It’s an unusually large cast. If it hadn’t existed as a series already, Joe and I would never have done a half hour network sitcom with 10 regulars. But part of the charm was this large cast,” Wiseman says. “We spent a lot of time talking about all these different ghosts and who they could be. And then, we really lucked out. We just have this killer crew of people. At first it almost seemed like a burden as we have 21 minutes to tell a story, we have 10 characters to service. But this sort of frantic pace that creates, lends to the tone of the show and it gives us a lot of directions to go to exploring every character’s background, pairing them up and seeing what stories come out of all these different pairings that we can do,” he explains. “So it’s really an embarrassment of riches!”

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