Question: I’ve been hearing about the “new” TV show Ghosts. I remember a show titled Topper many years ago with the same idea. Mr. Topper and his wife were in a house (they were middle-aged), and Topper (Leo G. Carroll) was the only one who could see the ghosts of a young married couple. It was an enjoyable show. Am I correct: Did this show exist? Topper was never mentioned when the new show Ghosts started (although Topper only had two ghosts, not the variety of the present show). —Doreen S., West Sayville, NY
Matt Roush: Your memory is fine. Ghosts, which itself is adapted from a British series, is the latest in a long line of comedies involving spirits not everyone can see. Topper, which aired on CBS from 1953-55, was based on a novel and a series of 1930s movies, originally starring Cary Grant as one of the ghosts. (A very short-lived 1989 remake on NBC, titled Nearly Departed, starred Monty Python’s Eric Idle.) The device was used in Noël Coward’s classic Blithe Spirit on stage and screen, and I remember a similar premise in the more romantic 1968-69 sitcom The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. There are doubtless others. So while the idea may not be new, it is durable. And I’m thrilled that CBS gave Ghosts (with iZombie‘s Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as the owners of the haunted house) an early full-season renewal. It’s a keeper.
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