‘Haunted’ quietly creeps up

Skein crosses film noir with ghost stories

Matthew Fox is listed as the star of UPN’s one-hour supernatural drama, but he and the show’s team of creators and producers are hoping the look of “Haunted” becomes famous in its own right.

“I don’t think there’s anything like it on TV as far as the way it looks,” Fox says. “It’s the scariest show on television. Surreal at times, edgy and dark.”

Explains co-creator Rick Ramage: “The atmospheric conditions of the show do amount to their own sort of character. We really tried to create a grueling, almost apocalyptic tone to the look.”

“Haunted” combines classic film noir with the great beyond. It follows the exploits of private investigator Frank Taylor (played by Fox), who has a near-death experience and then is haunted by lost souls — some good, some evil — who get involved in his mission to solve crimes.

This is somewhat new terrain for Fox, whose last foray into series television was a six-year stint on “Party of Five.” While he enjoyed playing the role of Charlie Salinger on that popular ensemble drama, he’s excited by the prospect of playing a modern-day gumshoe.

“I have always liked noirish detective stuff. I’m old school. Frank Taylor feels like some of the heroes of those stories. There’s almost a comicbook feel to it,” says Fox.

While each episode of the show will stand alone, one recurring storyline in “Haunted” will deal with the character of Frank’s son, who was abducted and never found when the series opens.

The kidnapping drives a wedge between Frank and his wife, Jessica (Lynn Collins), and creates an emotional catalyst for Frank to solve each case.

“It’s really important that the show be character-driven and we want our arcs to revolve around our characters,” says co-creator and supervising producer Andrew Cosby. “But the show isn’t going to be hinged on that. We definitely want it to be sort of every week you come to the show and you see Frank’s story and see Frank’s struggle.”

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