Ghostwriter was a PBS educational/mystery program co-produced by Sesame Workshop (formerly Children's Television Workshop) and the British Broadcasting Corporation. The show aired on PBS stations from October 1992 to February 1995.
The show also spawned a book series, magazines, games, and a radio show.
Ghostwriter was produced to teach elementary and middle school children reading and writing skills. The show followed the adventures of six young detectives living in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, New York, who would solve mysteries within their neighborhood with the help of a ghost. This ghost had the ability to manipulate any letters or words he could find to communicate to the kids, whether they were figuring out how to solve a particular mystery or if there was danger nearby. Early on, the young detectives began to call themselves the "Ghostwriter Team," so named after the titular character.
The team had to deal with a common adversary--another teenage boy named Calvin Ferguson, who was also a suspect in two cases. Calvin's family owned a local party supply store and, on a much lesser note, Calvin received top grades in all his classes, which he liked to brag about.
The first six regular members of the team were:
- Jamal Jenkins
- Lenni Frazier
- Alejandro "Alex" Fernandez
- Gabriella "Gaby" Fernandez
- Tina Nguyen
- Robert "Rob" Baker
After Rob left the team to move to Australia, a younger boy name Hector Carrero was initiated into the Ghostwriter Team in Rob's place. Later, during the "Don't Stop the Music" story arc, Jamal's cousin Casey Austin saw Ghostwriter and became a team member herself.
Cancellation and Beyond
Ghostwriter ended in 1995 because of inadequate funding. It later resurfaced in a part of the UPN Kids programming block in 1997 before airing on ABC in syndication. The series was later shown on the Noggin/The N cable network until 2003. Episodes of Ghostwriter can now be seen on YouTube.
During its original run, Ghostwriter won:
- WGA Award, 1995 (Carin Greenberg Baker, "Don't Stop the Music")
- Young Artist Awards, 1993 (Nominated for "Outstanding Performers in a Children's Program," it went to all six original cast members)
- Season One
- "Ghost Story"
- "Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store?"
- "To Catch A Creep"
- "Into the Comics"
- "To the Light"
- "Who's Who?"
- "Over a Barrel"
- "Building Bridges"
- Season Two
- "Am I Blue?"
- "Get the Message"
- "Just in Time"
- "Lost in Brooklyn" (Rob Baker leaves for Australia after this episode. Hector Carrero replaces him.)
- "Who is Max Mouse?"
- "Don't Stop the Music"
- "What's Up with Alex?"
- Season Three
- Prior to the second season's start, PBS aired "The Ghostwriter Back to School Special", which aired the "Over A Barrell" story arc in its entirety, along with featuring brief interviews with all the main actors. At the beginning of the third season, former NBC anchor Katie Couric interviewed the actors who played Lenni and Jamal as part of a three-peat special that showed preview clips from all three Season 3 story arcs and featured a blooper reel. Katie Couric also performed an interview with Melissa Gonzalez, introducing her as the new Gaby. Also, this was the final season.