|Created by||Liz Nealon|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||74 (18 story arcs, with four episodes in each arc, except 1 and 5, which have five episodes) (list of episodes)|
|Production locations||Brooklyn, New York|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||October 4, 1992 –|
February 12, 1995
Ghostwriter is a children's mystery television series created by Liz Nealon and produced by Children's Television Workshop (now known as Sesame Workshop) and BBC Television. The series revolves around a multiethnic group of friends from Brooklyn who solve neighborhood crimes and mysteries as a team of youth detectives with the help of a ghost named Ghostwriter. Ghostwriter can communicate with children only by manipulating whatever text and letters he can find and using them to form words and sentences. The series was filmed on location in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It began airing on PBS on October 4, 1992, and the last episode aired on February 12, 1995. It reran on Noggin, a channel co-founded by the Children's Television Workshop, from 1999 to 2003.
The series is designed to teach reading and writing skills to schoolchildren. Each mystery is presented as a case, covering four 30-minute episodes (except for the first and fifth story arc, where there are five 30 minute episodes); children are encouraged to follow each mystery and use the reading and writing clues given to attempt to solve them just as the Ghostwriter team does.
Main article: List of Ghostwriter episodes
Main article: List of Ghostwriter characters
Ghostwriter was critically acclaimed and honored for presenting a realistic, ethnically diverse world in its two-hour mystery stories. By the end of its third season, Ghostwriter ranked in the top five of all children's shows on American television.
Created as an integrated, branded, multi-media project, the Ghostwriter brand included magazines and teacher's guides, software (Microsoft), home video, games/licensed product, and other outreach materials that reached over a million children each month. There were many Ghostwriter novels released, both novelizations of the TV episodes and new stories. They were released by Bantam Books.
Noggin's website featured exclusive casebook files based on the show.
Ghostwriter has been broadcast in 24 countries worldwide, and generated a number of foreign-language adaptations, including a dubbed over version on Discovery Kids in Latin America marketed as Fantasma Escritor.
Despite its popularity, the program was abruptly canceled after the third season due to inadequate funding after the BBC pulled out of co-producing the show. The original series was rerun from 1995 to 1999 on PBS. From 1999 to 2003, it aired on the Noggin cable network, which was jointly founded by the Children's Television Workshop (now known as Sesame Workshop) with MTV Networks. The show's revival The New Ghostwriter Mysteries also aired on Noggin as part of its nighttime programming blocks, The Hubbub and The N.
During the mid-1990s, Ghostwriter was released on VHS by Republic Pictures Home Video. The company released "Ghost Story", "Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store?", and "Into the Comics" with their respective story-arc episodes edited together into a feature-length format.
In February 2010, it was announced that Season 1 of Ghostwriter would be released on DVD by Shout! Factory. The 5-disc set, running 870 minutes long, was released on June 8, 2010. Supplements are a trivia game and a casebook. The entire series except for the last two story arcs were also released by GPN.
|DVD name||Ep #||Release date||Special Features|
|Season One||34||June 8, 2010||Ghostwriter Trivia Game, Ghostwriter Casebook|
In 1997, CBS aired a new version of the series, The New Ghostwriter Mysteries, as part of their educational Think CBS Kids block, but it was canceled after one season due to low ratings. The new series had little in common with the original, changing Ghostwriter's on-screen appearance, introducing entirely new characters, and getting rid of the serial format of the original series. The series was filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and featured a new team of three kids: Camella Gorik (Charlotte Sullivan), Emilie Robeson (Erica Luttrell), and Henry "Strick" Strickland (Kristian Ayre). Ghostwriter only had two colors, which were silver and gold.
Ghostwriter producer and writer Kermit Frazier revealed in a 2010 interview that Ghostwriter was a runaway slave during the American Civil War. He taught other slaves how to read and write and was killed by slave catchers and their dogs. His spirit was kept in the book that Jamal discovers and opens in the pilot episode, freeing the ghost.
In summer 2006, BBC School Radio produced a radio series of Ghostwriter for primary school students. Character names from the TV series were retained, though voiced by new children. Music and the theme song were also kept, and a new arranged jingle for children to recognize Ghostwriter's appearances was created by Sesame Workshop.
Main article: Ghostwriter (2019 TV series)
In September 2019, it was reported that a Ghostwriter revival would air on Apple TV+. The series premiered on November 1, 2019. The series was nominated for eight Daytime Emmy Awards.
A spin-off, Ghostwriter: Beyond the Page, premiered on April 1, 2021.