Paramount Plus Scares Up Teen Ghosts in ‘School Spirits’ Series

A young ghost seeking to solve her own disappearance and possible murder is the premise for a new Paramount Plus original drama series School Spirits, debuting March 9.

The eight-episode series, which is based on an upcoming graphic novel by Nate and Megan Trinrud, stars Peyton List as a ghost trapped inside her high school who investigates her own disappearance and death alongside a group of other ghost students also unable to leave the school, according to the streaming service. 

Series stars and executive producers speaking at the recent TCA Winter Press Tour said while the series is reminiscent of other ghost-themed series like CBS’s comedy series Ghosts, the murder/mystery aspect of the plotline allows the show to create its own voice.

“It is almost two different shows,” said actor Milo Manheim, who plays a ghost student trapped in the school. “You have the live people who are trying to find out where Maddie is, so it's very dark and gritty. Then on the ghost side, Maddie is here [with other ghost students] … we’re just bopping around having fun, and we’re all friends.”

List said playing the lead ghost in the series was weird but fascinating, adding the series doesn't feel like a supernatural shows. "I just didn't think of it as a ghost or supernatural story because they kept it so grounded, and I feel like the whole tone of it was pretty grounded," she said. 

School Spirits executive producer Oliver Goldstick said the series’ storyline of teen spirits trapped within the boundaries of a high school is reminiscent of how many young adults felt being locked down at home during the pandemic. “I think the lockdown has made this show very relevant and very resonant,” he said. “People are going to respond to this … a lot of young people haven’t been able to articulate what has happened.”

Added series creator Nate Trinrud: “I think a lot of people … feel like we’ve been removed from our lives in a way and that we’re outside of them. How we get back to how we were is a big question we all ask, and certainly what the show’s about.”

Along with List and Manheim, School Spirits stars Nick Pugliese, Kristian Flores, Spencer MacPherson, Kiara Pichardo, Sarah Yarkin and Rainbow Wedell. The series is executive produced by Goldstick, Nate and Megan Trinrud and Max Winkler. 

Paramount Plus will premiere the first three episodes of the series March 9, with subsequent episodes debuting every Thursday, according to the streaming service.■ 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.