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Ghosts' Rose McIver Doesn't Get Many Chances To Improvise

Released in 2021, CBS' supernatural sitcom "Ghosts" was well-received by audiences and critics alike. In fact, its scores on Rotten Tomatoes are nearly identical to those of the British version of the show. The U.S. and U.K. takes on the concept have received a 96% and 95% critic scores respectively, and the audiences seem to mostly agree with the critics. With such warm reception, it shouldn't surprise anyone that "Ghosts" was renewed for Season 3 only halfway through the current season. 

The CBS series revolves around Samantha (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), a young couple who converted an inherited country estate into a bed and breakfast, only to discover the property is haunted by a host of spirits, all of whom lived in the mansion when they were alive. The show comes with a twist as the only living person who can see the ghosts is Samantha. This unique setup ensures plenty of situational comedy, but it also poses a unique challenge for the cast, especially McIver.

McIver says shooting Ghosts is a technical project

Rose McIver is no stranger to the supernatural. McIver was briefly an avatar for Xena, a character everyone forgets she played on "Xena: Warrior Princess," and she was featured on "iZombie." Shooting "Ghosts," however, requires a different approach. 

Seeing as Samantha is the only living person who can see and interact with the spirits, lots of the scenes in CBS' sitcom had to be shot twice: once with the ghosts in frame and once without them. This requires a lot of attention to detail on the part of the crew and actors, who need to make sure every single aspect of a scene remains the same for the second take. 

In a recent interview, McIver described the show as a "very technical project," where she needs to stick to the script and promptly react to her co-stars' on-screen actions, even those that weren't planned by the writers. She also shed some light on the process and how it differs from other sitcoms in which actors have a lot of space to improvise. 

"The group around me improvises a lot," McIver said to Variety. "I don't quite so much on this project. A lot of what I'm doing is [being] a portal to them. I'm providing a portal for the audience, but when we have to bring those elements in ... we're starting to understand each other."