August 10, 2022

If recent horror-comedy films like Freaky and Ready or Not have you itching for new additions to the genre, you’re in luck. Starz is set to premiere Shining Vale, a new 8-episode series from Jeff Astrof and Sharon Horgan that seems to promise thrills, chills, and some laughs.

Shining Vale revolves around a dysfunctional family that moves from Brooklyn, New York to a small town in Connecticut (the titular Shining Vale). The only problem? It turns out that horrible things have taken place in the mansion they move into. As matriarch Pat Phelps (Courteney Cox) discovers that their new home is haunted by a ghost, she quickly realizes that no one seems to notice this alarming fact except for her. Is she seeing things? Is she depressed? Or are her ghostly visions the result of something…darker?


Whether you’re curious about the show’s crop of characters or who’s playing them, here’s a handy cast and character guide to keep you in the loop when watching Shining Vale.

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Patricia “Pat” Phelps (Courteney Cox)


Pat is the Phelps family matriarch. In addition to being the mom of two children, she’s also an author suffering a severe case of writer’s block. She rose to fame by writing a raunchy women’s empowerment novel but can’t seem to get started on her second. After her wild past and affair with her handyman, Pat and husband Terry (Greg Kinnear) move to Shining Vale in an attempt to save their marriage.

Cox is most well known for portraying Monica Geller on Friends and Jules Cobb on Cougar Town, in addition to appearing in episodes of Scrubs, Seinfeld, Web Therapy, Shameless, and the upcoming scripted adaptation of the documentary Last Chance U. She also starred as Gale Weathers in all 5 installments of the Scream franchise, as well as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Mothers and Daughters. Cox has also directed several projects including the films TalhotBlond and Just Before I Go.

Terry (Greg Kinnear)

Image via Starz

Terry is Pat’s sweet and optimistic husband. He finds himself in a relationship rut with Pat but is more than willing to do whatever it takes to keep their marriage and family intact. Despite his willingness to try couples therapy and move to Shining Vale, he harbors some resentment towards Pat for her infidelity.

Kinnear is known for television performances like Glen Bateman in the recent adaptation of The Stand, as well as roles in Rake, House of Cards, Modern Family, Friends, Jordan Peele‘s reboot of The Twilight Zone, and the upcoming In with the Devil. He starred as Richard Hoover in the comedy-drama Little Miss Sunshine in addition to films such as You’ve Got Mail, Invincible, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and the crime thriller Crisis.

Gaynor (Gus Birney)

Image via Starz

Gaynor is the Phelps’ moody 16-year-old daughter. She blames Pat for uprooting them from their comfortable New York lives and forcing them to move to Shining Vale. Like many teenage daughters, Gaynor argues with her mother over just about everything without realizing just how similar they are.

Gus Birney starred in the television adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Mist, as well as Dickinson where she played Jane Humphreys. She also appeared in the series Blue Bloods, The Blacklist, Jessica Jones, and Chicago Med. On the big screen, she can be seen in I’m Thinking of Ending Things and the upcoming Happiness for Beginners.

Jake (Dylan Gage)

Image via Starz

Jake is Pat and Terry’s son who has severe ADHD and OCD. He’s sweet like his father, but also seems to have inherited Terry’s temper. His sensitive demeanor just might attract the ghosts of the people who died in the Phelps’ new home.

While Dylan Gage is fairly new to acting, he’s most well known for his role as Gabe in the series PEN15, as well as appearances in This Is Us, Stranger Things, and Creepshow. On the big screen, he has been featured in films like The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Hillbilly Elegy, and Fear Street: Part Two – 1978, in addition to the upcoming Summer Gold.

Rosemary (Mira Sorvino)

Image via Starz

Rosemary is the first ghost that Pat encounters in their new home. She promises to help Pat work on her new novel if Pat will allow Rosemary to “come inside her.” Is Rosemary merely a ghost searching for connection, or something more malicious with darker intentions?

On television, Mira Sorvino has played characters such Sara on Falling Skies, Amy in Intruders, and Jeanne Crandall in Hollywood. She also has a long career in film, with starring roles in Mighty Aphrodite (for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), Mimic, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, as well as appearances in Crime Story, After We Fell, and the upcoming Lamborghini.

Kam (Merrin Dungey)

Image via Starz

Kam is Pat’s editor and oldest friend. She loves Pat but has a low tolerance for nonsense. After all, she’s been with Pat through her highest highs and lowest lows, doling out her signature tough love along the way. But if Pat can’t manage to write a new novel, Kam just might have to drop her as a client.

In addition to guest appearances in shows like Man With a Plan, American Horror Stories, The Resident, and Lucifer, Merrin Dungey has portrayed recurring television characters like Francie Calfo in Alias, Ursula in Once Upon a Time, and Detective Adrienne Quinlan in Big Little Lies. She can also be seen in films like Some Kind of Beautiful, CHiPs, Greenland, and most recently, The Madness Inside Me.

Joan (Judith Light)

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Joan is Pat’s vanity-obsessed mother. She never misses an opportunity to be critical of her daughter, and blames her for Joan’s own mental illness.

Judith Light has a career spanning over 40 years, with television roles such as Angela Bower on Who’s the Boss? and Elizabeth Donnelly on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in addition to appearances in Ugly Betty, Transparent, The Good Fight, and the upcoming Julia. On the big screen, she can be seen in Before You Know It, Tick, Tick…Boom!, and the upcoming black comedy thriller The Menu.

Kathryn (Alysia Reiner)

Image via Netflix

Kathryn is a sharp and successful business professional who enjoys being a woman in a male-dominated field. She also happens to be Terry’s co-worker, which just might prove to be disastrous for his relationship with Pat.

In addition to appearances in shows such as 30 Rock, Law & Order, and Bones, Alysia Reiner is also known for her role as Sunny in Better Things, Kiki in The Deuce, and Natalie “Fig” Figueroa in Orange Is the New Black. Along with roles in films like Sideways, That Awkward Moment, and 5 Flights Up, she can also be seen in the upcoming miniseries Ms. Marvel.

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