Utkarsh Ambudkar dying to interact with spectral housemates in 'Ghosts'

Utkarsh Ambudkar and Rose McIver can be seen in Season 2 of "Ghosts." Photo courtesy of CBS
1 of 3 | Utkarsh Ambudkar and Rose McIver can be seen in Season 2 of "Ghosts." Photo courtesy of CBS

NEW YORK, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Ghosts star Utkarsh Ambudkar says he can't wait for his character, Jay Arondekar, to acquire the ability to communicate with the spirits haunting his country bed-and-breakfast the way his wife, Samantha, has.

"Hopefully, we will have many seasons to explore these storylines and I would love nothing more than to see and speak to the people on this stage. But, for now, I get to treat them like my children and ignore them," Ambudkar joked at a recent cast panel for Ghosts at New York Comic Con.


"Every time we have a living guest on the show, after we're done shooting, Utkarsh will come and say: 'That person was awesome. We have to have them back. They were great,'" showrunner Joe Wiseman said.

"I'm like, 'Do you really like them or did you just like that you could talk to them?' He's like, 'Both can be true.'"


Season 2 of the sitcom airs Thursday nights on CBS.

The remake of a British show by the same name follows a happy couple as they fix up the rundown Woodstone estate they inherited.

The twist is the inn just happens to be inhabited by the specters of a Prohibition-era lounge singer Alberta (Danielle Pinnock); American Revolutionary War Capt. Isaac Higgintoot (Brandon Scott Jones); hippie Flower (Sheila Carrasco); 1980s scout troop leader Pete (Richie Moriarty); medieval Viking explorer Thorfinn (Devan Chandler Long); 1990s financier Trevor (Asher Grodman); 16th-century Native American Sasappis (Román Zaragoza); and 19th-century socialite Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky).

Samantha (Rose McIver) is able to see her housemates only after she has a near-death experience and she relays to Jay what they are saying and doing.

From the beginning, Jay believes in his spouse's new talent.

"Happy wife, happy life," Ambudkar said.

"We could have had a whole season of Sam trying to convince Jay ghosts are real and he can't be a part of the adventure. From the second or fifth page, whatever it is, Jay is there. He believes in her. He's trying his very best to be a part of it. He so desperately wants to see these ghosts," he said.


Most of the cast members shoot the scenes twice to capture what Sam sees and what Jay misses.

"They still say their lines and they are there for us with the same energy as they had the first time," Ambudkar said of the actors who play ghosts even when they are heard delivering their lines from offstage so they are heard but not seen.

"Rose is our engine. She does the heavy lifting. Rose remembers where everyone was, what their intentions were," he said of the actress who plays his screen wife.

She couldn't attend Comic Con because she was Montreal filming.

"She responds to them and manages my responses to her. Rose is really our puppet-master on set. She does so much work. She is our unsung hero. I check out. I'm like, 'I wonder if we're having steak for lunch.' Rose is doing most of the work and she is great at it."

Ambudkar insisted he had no concerns about the show's popularity waning in its sophomore season.

"This show is for the people. You guys have made it the phenomenon that it is. Without you, we'd be the United States of Al. We'd be gone," he told the audience, referring to the CBS sitcom that was canceled in 2021 after two seasons.


"I have been outside between Season 1 and Season 2 and I've seen how much joy people get from the show. I wasn't worried about Season 2. I knew you'd come out and we'd do it together."

Grodman said the show's storytelling style is unlike any other on television.

"Audiences know much more than the eight clowns who are trapped in Woodstone -- because we are all trapped in the past -- but there is hundreds of years of history that we know more about than you do and so we get to approach that relationship with an audience from two different points of view," he said.

Wiseman said the backstories of the ghosts and the interactions between figures from different time periods are the "secret juice" of the show.

"We love finding different pairings. Sometimes, in the writer's room, we'll be like, 'Who are two people we haven't seen together -- either not at all or not enough?' And we'll talk about different stories that can generate from that," he said.

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