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‘Ghosted’ stars Robinson, Scott look to scare up some big laughs

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LOS ANGELES — There’s something strange in the Fox TV neighborhood. Who are you going to call? Well don’t put a shout out to either of the versions of “Ghostbusters” because while the network’s new Sunday comedy, “Ghosted,” features a team who track and stop the paranormal, those behind the show stress that’s where the comparisons stop.
Series star Adam Scott explains: “We are a completely different thing. We would never even try to even attempt to measure ourselves against the ‘Ghostbusters’ franchise at all. But I think we take some inspiration from how great ‘Ghostbusters’ is and how they are able to balance the paranormal with the comedy and grounded world that it all takes place in. But as far as measuring ourselves towards it, we would never even consider doing that.”
“Ghosted” features Scott and Craig Robinson (“The Office”) as a cynical skeptic and true believer in the paranormal who are recruited by a government agency known as The Bureau Underground. It’s their mission to save the world from the bizarre and strange things that go bump in the night.
The head of the secret agency is played by Ally Walker (“Colony”). When she read the script, Walker saw the series as less of being like “Ghostbusters” and more of a twisted take on horror science fiction with a touch of comedy.
“I think it’s a really fresh take on the genre. So I came out of it and thought that would be a fun character to play. And you get to react off of all of these comedians, and it’s a fun job,” Walker says.
When Walker talks about reacting to her fellow actors, she’s referring to how both Scott and Robinson have extensive backgrounds in improvisational comedy. Scott was able to show those skills in the TV series “Parks & Recreation” and “Burning Love” while Robinson has improvised from his TV comedy “Mr. Robinson” to “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” a film that starred both “Ghosted” actors.
Scott stresses all of the “Ghosted” scripts have been great but they have been given the freedom to go off on comedy riffs.
“We all kind of mess around. I think Craig and I, both coming from ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks,’ we have a lot of fun improvising and messing around. We may use it. We may not. But I think it’s a good thing to keep all of the actors excited and having fun,” Scott says. “Craig and I were doing a scene where we just kept going. Eventually, the director just had to be, like, ‘Okay. We just have to stop, you guys. This show isn’t going to be 90 minutes long.’
“So, hopefully, you find bits in there that are funny.”
Robinson calls Scott the ultimate improvising partner because he loves to push the comedy as much as possible in an effort to find the best jokes. That’s been the case since the pair started trying to get a network to buy into their idea and put the show on the air.
When Robinson first saw Scott work, he laughed so much that he knew that he wanted to do a project with him. It wasn’t that Scott was just funny, Robinson admired Scott’s intelligent approach to comedy.
Scott recalls how every time he would run into Robinson, the idea of them working together would be discussed. The idea was equally exciting to Scott.
“I was blown away that he knew who I was, but also that he would want to do something with me because I was such a fan of his, and he’s someone that’s so funny and so deeply in control of what he’s doing. The jokes come from deep; he is deeply funny,” Scott says. “So I always, always wanted to do something with Craig.
“We got to work on that movie (“Hot Tub Time Machine 2”), but this is where we’ve been able to really kind of expand on that and really develop this relationship on screen. It’s really been fun.”
Neither actor knew how much of the improvised material would be used in the final cut of the show as they had only filmed one episode. What Robinson saw with “The Office” was there was a lot of improvising from the start but as the years went by, the writers were able to capture the voices of the characters so well that it got to the point where when he would read a line, Robinson would think that was something he would actually say.
As for getting to the point where he can handle comedy so easily, Robinson can trace his comedy skills back to his childhood.
“When I was a kid, I remember I was with my father. He had me reading ‘The Three Little Pigs,’ and so, at one point, I said, ‘So the wolf blew the house down, but the wooden was the second one? He blew it down, right?’ He blew the house down. And I said, ‘And the pig put on his gym shoes and ran away.’ So I was improvising at this young age,” Robinson says. “And my father was just, like, ‘What? Here. Read that for your mama. Tell your mama what you told me.’
“And then we would take these trips to my grandma’s house 45 minutes away. So my sister was over here, my little brother in the middle. I’m in the back. I would just go into these characters. I had the whole car tripping. So, yeah, I knew there was some power in that, some I knew it was a special gift at a young age.”
———
“Ghosted”
8:30 p.m. Sundays, FOX
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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‘Ghosted’ stars Robinson, Scott look to scare up some big laughs