BBC’s Ghosts US Remake Is Finally Coming to the UK

Rumour has it the CBS version of Ghosts is coming to the UK via the BBC

CBS Ghosts cast poster
Photo: CBS

The CBS adaptation of the BBC’s hit comedy Ghosts is reportedly going to make its UK debut on the BBC.

Trade magazine Broadcast has claimed the BBC is currently finalising a deal for the broadcast rights to the CBS version of the show, which premiered in the US in October 2021, and has a second season due to begin airing there on the 29th of September.

The CBS remake would sit alongside the critically acclaimed UK original, from the team behind Horrible Histories, which is due to release its fourth series on the BBC on the 23rd of September.

Both shows share an identical premise: a young couple inherits a dilapidated mansion filled with the ghosts of the people who have died there throughout history. Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe played the roles of the couple in the UK original, with iZombie‘s Rose McIver and The Mindy Project and Never Have I Ever‘s Utkarsh Ambudkar portraying their US equivalent.

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While there are many similarities between the ghosts of the US and the UK versions – for instance, a Scout leader, a society woman and a 90s sleazeball – the CBS remake adds new additions to the lineup for a US audience including a 1960s hippy, a prohibition-era lounge singer, a Native American from the 1500s and a James Dean-style 1950s bad boy. There’s also a Viking and a pompous militiaman from the 1700s.

Danielle Pinnock as Alberta Haynes in the US remake of Ghosts
Danielle Pinnock plays Alberta Haynes, a prohibition-era lounge singer, in the US Ghosts remake

UK viewers will certainly recognise most of the ghosts in the US cast, including Sheila Carrasco (Jane The Virgin), Devan Long (Doom Patrol), Succession‘s Asher Grodman and The Good Place‘s Brandon Scott Jones, whose performance earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at the 2022 Critics’ Choice Television Awards.

The creators and stars of the original Ghosts – Laurence Rickard, Mathew Baynton, Ben Willbond, Jim Howick and Martha Howe-Douglas – are also executive producers on the US version of the show alongside its creators Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. Port and Wiseman have worked as a writing duo on shows including The Office, New Girl and The Odd Couple.

One major difference between the two versions of Ghosts is the number of episodes per series. While the first three series of the UK version total 20 episodes in all, the US remake of Ghosts has 18 episodes in season one alone, with a similar number expected in the second season.

Both versions of Ghosts have been very well-received on their respective sides of the pond, with the CBS remake earning a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the rare successful adaptations of a British sitcom. It was also the number one comedy on Paramount+, the show’s exclusive streaming home in the US. In the UK, the BBC named the first original series ‘the top comedy series on UK television so far this year‘, and in the 2021 BAFTAs the show was nominated for Best Scripted Comedy.

If the deal goes ahead it is thought it will be the first time the BBC has picked up the US adaptation of one of its own shows.

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The BBC has also recently confirmed the UK original of Ghosts will air its third Christmas special episode in December 2022.