Rose McIver on Trading Zombies For Ghosts in New CBS Show

Tonight marks the two-part premiere of Ghosts on CBS. The series, which stars iZombie's Rose McIver, centers on a young couple who encounter a haunted house in a fairly hilarious way. After a near-death experience in the pilot, Samantha (McIver) finds herself able to see ghosts -- which is handy, since the house she is living in has a centuries-long history and, thus, a lot of ghosts but literally and figuratively. A lot o the comedy comes from trying to appease the ghosts without letting the rest of the world know they are there...and if that seems like a good fit for somebody who headed up iZombie...well, McIver has thought of that, too.

The series is a remake of a British series that's new enough that it's actually still around. Per its official synopsis, in the American version of Ghosts, Samantha and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) throw caution to the wind when they convert their recently inherited country estate into a bed-and-breakfast. Call it mislaid plans. Not only is the place falling apart, but it's also inhabited by spirits of previous residents -- whom only Samantha can see and hear. 

"You have no idea times I've thought about that, like sometimes feeling like the Clive of the group, who's kind of seeing the same unexplainable stuff and then covering all the time," McIver said. "It gave me even more admiration. I already admired my costars, but playing the straight man to the crazy bunch is definitely challenging. It's a new thing for me, and I'm really enjoying it."

Some of the other actors have it pretty hard; they have to be in a room where the ghosts are doing something crazy, but they not only can't laugh at it, but can't even look in the direction of the ghosts at all. For McIver, who spent five seasons taking on the zany personality traits of whatever brain her zombie character ate, she gets to relax a bit and just play one, fairly stable, character. So what's the biggest challenge for her?

"The only time that it's really difficult is with the [American] accent," admitted the New Zealand-born actor. "Sometimes improvising in a Kiwi accent, I find far more comfortable. I haven't ever been stressed about doing an American accent when I'm reading script and dialogue, but my mouth has like a 2.5 second lag, so I have to wrap my head around it a little bit more before I speak. So what's been a little bit challenging sometimes, is trying to literally just think of phrasing. Like, it'll be my turns of phrase that really gives me away more than the accent sometimes. It will kind of not quite land. But I've lived in America for 10 years now, so they're getting fewer and fewer."

After five years on a show that regularly killed off not just virtually every love interest she ever had, but plenty of other characters, too, McIver now finds herself in the unusual position of wanting to see her favorite guest stars get killed. After all, if someone were to die on the grounds of the house, they could join the cast as a regular. McIver says that rather than killing someone off, she thinks of it as killing someone on.

"It's the only show where I've found myself saying, 'Let's kill somebody on,'" McIver said. "We have a guest star that we particularly like, and we want them to stick around. So between that, and again, being able to explore leaving the property when that suits. But then even within the property, there are many, many surprises. Just to see them, we kind of discover that all is not what it seems. There is not injustice, this specific group of ghosts that we introduce as we go through the season. There's more within the property."

Ghosts premieres Thursday, Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET with a one-hour premiere featuring two back-to-back episodes on CBS and available to stream on Paramount+. Those interested in seeing all Paramount+ has to offer can click here for a free streaming offerDisclosure: is owned by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS.