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Twilight Zone

By Wikipedia

The New Twilight Zone is a popular nickname for the 1985 revival of Rod Serling's acclaimed television series, The Twilight Zone. The New Twilight Zone ran for two seasons on CBS before producing a final season for syndication.

The New Twilight Zone debuted the night of September 27, 1985 to a generally warm reception: it would win its Friday-night time slot four of its first five weeks. Episodes featured adaptations of stories by Greg Bear, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison and Stephen King. A new batch of scripts was supplemented with remakes of classic Twilight Zones like Dead Man’s Shoes, Shadow Play and Night of the Meek. Though the production crew was convinced that they were making all of the right decisions, ratings began to slide as the novelty of the show wore off. “You have not known humiliation until you have been beaten by Webster and Mr. Belvedere,” said executive story consultant Alan Brennert. Then came “Nackles”.

That the show’s producers had ever managed to hire Harlan Ellison was considered by many to be nothing short of miraculous; Ellison was an extremely vocal critic of television who had already published two collection of essays on the subject “concluding that to work in television is akin to putting in time in the Egyptian House of the Dead.” These feelings surfaced once again when the script he submitted for Twilight Zone’s Christmas special –an adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s 1964 story “Nackles”, in which a bigot frightens minority children with stories of a malicious anti-Santa Claus- was rejected by CBS’ West Coast Program Practices. Halting the show in mid-production (Ellison was already scheduled to make his directorial debut) cost the program between $150,000 to $300,000… and Ellison’s services as a creative consultant. “[Their] suggestions were vile, infamous!” Ellison recalled of his aborted attempts to change the network’s mind.

The "Nackles" incident generated a flurry of press which ultimately proved inadequate to revive public interest in the series. "I can see why people who were expecting The Twilight Zone were disappointed with it," said staff writer Michael Cassutt of the show's low ratings. "...our show always seemed uneven to me. There were episodes perfectly in keeping with The Twilight Zone spirit, and then others that could have been from The Outer Limits or from anything." Among the episodes frequently cited as the series' best were Her Pilgrim Soul, Nightcrawlers, Profile in Silver and Dead Run... all produced this season. Thanks to such successes and despite poor ratings, The New Twilight Zone was renewed for a second season in early 1986.


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"I have every episode of the Twilight zone on dvd (the old old ones) but I also loved the Awesome80s twilight zone - especially the episode when the genius child of the future is executed for being too smart, it used to creep me out as a small child. I wish those episodes where on DVD."




Aired: September 27, 1985 - 1986

Cast: Charles Aidman

Network: CBS

Genre: Mystery

Theme song

Image courtesy of CBS

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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