Who needs Ghostbusters when you’ve got Rob Lowe, his two sons – and a ghost phone?
The Lowes have been busy promoting their new A&E reality series, “The Lowe Files,” which debuts at 9 p.m. Wednesday. It’s part of the cable network’s move away from scripted series to reality programming.
Lowe has described the show, in which he and his handsome offspring chase down unsolved mysteries of the spooky kind, as “Anthony Bourdain in a blender with Scooby-Doo.”
Or, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal has tagged it: “Among the goofiest things you’ll see this year.”
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Lowe has already claimed to have seen Bigfoot – the “wood ape” – in the Ozarks, which he admitted publicly at the risk of sounding, as he put it, “like a crazy, Hollywood kook.”
So about that kook part ...
While the Lowe men were promoting the show at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Friday, a journalist asked whether they’d been able to communicate with the dead while filming the show, Us Weekly reports.
Funny you should ask.
“Yeah — now. I hadn’t previously to this. It was through the Ovilus,” Lowe said. “There’s a device they use that the theory is it can translate ... that the spirits can talk through this device, for a lack of better term. Don’t ask me how, don’t ask me the science, I don’t know.”
He said his son John Owen “just thinks it’s randomly programmed to say words at any given time, which it could be, but how does it know to say the word?”
Papa Lowe sounded like a believer in the power of the Ovilus, an electronic “translator” used by ghost hunters.
“It said the dead woman’s name where she was murdered. Judge for yourself … I don’t want to seem like a nut. I don’t want to end my career here,” Lowe joked. “Too late?”
Anyone want to answer that last question?
Lowe, who is also an executive producer of “The Lowe Files,” told the TV critics the show “is like the 8-year-old boy trapped in a 53-year-old man’s body’s dream,” according to Adweek.
“It’s just more fun to believe. I don’t know one way or another, and I don’t really care. It’s fun.”
Side note: Lowe insisted on using Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” as the show’s theme song.
The Lowe sons told the TV critics about how their dad used to take them hunting for Sasquatch when they were kids and told them ghost stories when they went camping.
The “West Wing” star “likes to entertain these fantastic, ridiculous ideas,” John Owen said, revealing that their dad’s friend, Charlie Sheen, once tried to make them believe the moon was hollow.
Lowe sounded a little like he was trying to tamp down expectations when he described the show as a father-and-sons road trip.
“It’s the journey, and it’s creating memories for us and having an excuse to be together. If we don’t find actual results, it isn’t all that important,” he said. “But we did find actual results.”
In the premiere, the Lowes spend the night in Preston Castle, a former reform school in Ione, Calif., that is said to be haunted. Cameras caught strange voices and moving furniture. Lowe insisted that nothing be staged for the show, no visual effects added.
“I never thought we would get that kind of tangible stuff on film,” said Lowe. “When we got it, we got it good. When we didn’t get it … we didn’t get anything.”
According to Adweek, the guys shot the show over the weekends as Lowe was filming “Code Black” for CBS, John Owen was studying at Stanford University and Matthew was in law school.
Adweek also reported that Lowe said his wife, Cheryl, thought the whole show was ridiculous.
“She could give a hell whether we were killed by Sasquatch,” he said, “but she was really concerned that we might get ticks.”