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Ghost Hunting, Scripted this Time

By December 24, 2012

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Maria Blasucci and Amanda Lund in (I)Ghost Ghirls(/i).

Maria Blasucci and Amanda Lund in Ghost Ghirls.

© Shine America

Unscripted ghost hunting on TV has been around for a while now (paranormal documentary series go back to the mid-1990s at least) and shows no sign of flagging. After all creating a ghost-hunting "reality" series is relatively straightforward, and the best part is you can reiterate the concept across a variety of locales. And making fun of the unscripted ghost hunters can furnish the scripted professionals with some of their most memorable episodes, as we've seen on everything from Ghost Whisperer to Castle to Supernatural.

Now comes Ghost Ghirls, a scripted comedy web series about young, female two ghost hunters solving paranormal-themed mysteries while seeking to convince the world of their legitimacy. Will it, like its straight drama counterparts, revel in skewering the conventions of the spooky-night-vision, weird-noises reality-series brethren--or is the ghostbusting milieu more of a situational context for young-blondes-in-L.A. hi-jinx?

Clues may lie in the series's development history. It seems that Jack Black's Electric Dynamite production company originally positioned Ghost Ghirls, created by Black protégé Jeremy Konner (who was involved in Funny or Die's Drunk History, among other things) and young comics Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci, as a pilot for Syfy over a year ago.

But Syfy generally doesn't do wacky comedy very well, and isn't much into self-parody either. Since that time it's transitioned to new media, exclusively for Yahoo! Screen, as a web series starring Lund and Blasucci.

Joining Black's company for the web version is the prominent television developer Shine America. Shine America has been expanding steadily into original online content and clearly sees that venue as a major part of their future.

"People are passionate about the space. It's fun, it's interactive, it's bite-sized; you don't have to spend a lifetime to consume it," enthused Shine America's digital content honcho, Vivi Zigler, told The Hollywood Reporter of heading into the digital space. "We have lots of ideas in development that we're talking to lots of different platforms about. Some are a gleam in our eye, some are a pitch that came in weeks ago and some that are further along."

Production commenced earlier this month on 12 ten-minute episodes of Ghost Ghirls, slated to debut in Spring 2013.

One of the major selling points is the connection to Jack Black and his connections to the comedy scene through his previous comedy projects. And those connections will be up there on the screen, as Black, Jake Johnson, Molly Shannon, Jason Schwartzman and many other celebrities will make cameo appearances in the scripted paranormal procedural. Maybe it could be the paranormal world's Dr. Katz, with a different comedian stopping by every week to describe their own very peculiar hauntings.

Black is jazzed, anyway. "Ghost Ghirls is the funniest idea for a TV show that we've seen since I've been in the business," said Black in a statement. "Jeremy Konner is an electrifying director, and Amanda and Maria are dynamite comedic talents. I'm very proud to be associated with such a powerful project."
Tags: Jack Black, Maria Blasucci, Amanda Lund, Ghost Ghirls
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