By Ryan Faughnder
2:27 PM CDT, September 6, 2013
Call it a live-action "Scooby Doo" for the Funny or Die crowd.
"Ghost Ghirls," a scripted Web series produced by Jack Black, will debut next week on Yahoo Screen with 12 episodes, each with a length of around 10 to 12 minutes.
The show, created by Maria Blasucci, Amanda Lund and "Drunk History" director Jeremy Konner, follows two paranormal investigators as they try to solve supernatural mysteries. The episodes will be unveiled Sept. 9 through the Yahoo Inc. video website.
Black said distributing the series through Yahoo made sense because it gave the creators more control over the process than they might have had at a traditional outlet, and consumers are increasingly watching programming over the Web and through mobile devices and tablets.
“I think it’s the future, and it’s the way I like to enjoy content,” Black said on a conference call with reporters.
Lund and Blasucci play the bumbling duo in the procedural spoof that is co-produced by Black's production house Electric Dynamite and Shine America, the company behind "The Biggest Loser" and "Tabatha Takes Over."
In addition to being an executive producer for the show, Black is a guest star, playing a dead Southern rocker in an all-ghost band alongside Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, fellow Tenacious D member Kyle Gass and actor Val Kilmer.
Black, who cited "The Shining," "Rosemary’s Baby" and "Ghostbusters" among his film favorites, said "Ghost Ghirls" would involve both supernatural elements and real-life crime situations.
“There’s a good, even mix of science and otherworldly problems," Black said. “It’s like in 'Scooby Doo,' where oftentimes you pull the mask off the guy and there’s just a dude.”
Lund and Blasucci said they had long been interested in creating a comedy about ghost hunters before they teamed up with Konner. The show draws on the current slate of popular haunt-themed series such as "Ghost Adventures," "Ghost Hunters" and even "Long Island Medium," a show both creators said they hate.
"Amanda and I are both interested in the paranormal," Blasucci said. "There's so much comedy to be had with putting two fools into this world of life and death.”
It's broad comedy, to be sure. In the opening scene of an episode titled "Hooker With a Heart of Ghould," a man is mysteriously killed while patronizing a prostitute.
This comes as Web-only programming is achieving increased popularity as well as critical acclaim, with Netflix Inc. earning 14 Emmy nominations for shows including "House of Cards" and its reboot of "Arrested Development."
Asked about "Ghost Ghirls'" prospects with critics, Black said, “We’re doing 10- to 12-minute shows that are probably not up for [Emmy] contention, but they are delightful little confections.”
Black is also working on an animated Web series featuring Tenacious D. "It’s probably going to be a post-apocalyptic hell-raiser series,” he said.
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