Bryan Singer is going to try bringing The Twilight Zone back to TV (again)

CBS TV Studios wants to hop on the genre TV train! News broke today that the studio has hired Bryan Singer to serve as executive producer for a(nother) new version of The Twilight Zone, though it's still in the very early stages of development. With the success of horror-themed shows like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story -- not to mention the upcoming prequel series, Hannibal and Bates Motel -- you can't really blame them for trying, but will an anthology series (as opposed to a serial) still attract the audience they want? The most recent attempt (2002) only lasted for one season, and previous one (1985) also struggled to gain traction. But a new Twilight Zone could probably go to much creepier places these days, making it a little more worth our while. Possibly.

In the meantime, you can just tune in to Syfy's annual Twilight Zone marathon on December 31 and January 1. It's a holiday tradition!

(via IGN)


  1. I love vignette style TV shows/series. The Outer Limits was cool. I mean, if they get guest writers, directors, etc. use it as a mini movie spotlight for up and coming talent each episode like Tales From the Crypt did, it could work. Don’t homogenize it, which network TV seems to have a dire need to do.

    1. That would make for a better show but not necessarily better ratings. One reason shows like “The Walking Dead” do so well is that once they build an audience, fans don’t want to miss a single episode for fear of missing a critical plot development (assuming they can find an audience in the first place, anyway).

      1. Sure, but that also had a built in base of comic followers who were going to watch to see how the comic translated into film/show. 

        The point of the Twilight Zone is its always been a platform for short stories/moral/rhetorical spooky stories.

  2. Be careful what you wish for, Bryan Singer! Especially since you might accidentally end up being Hitler if you don’t phrase the wish just right.

  3. I remember the 1985 series. Didn’t Spielberg have something to do with it? Regardless, I remember it as too tame.

      1. Ah, yes, I conflated the two. I do remember the 85 Twilight Zone series as well, but obviously my memory’s not quite good enough to decide what I ultimately felt about it. 

        1. Twilight Zone: The Movie was produced by Spielberg and John Landis, released in 1983. That’s the one where the actor Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed in a helicopter accident during filming.

  4. The trouble with the reboots is that they assume what you ended with, that Twilight Zone was about being creepy.  It was that, in part, but it was also rather moralistic and insightful about the human condition.  Thinking Twilight Zone is just another horror show is where it has gone wrong since the original series.  

    1.  Wish I could “Like” this comment a bajillion times.

      Twilight Zone was so often not creepy…nor horror…nor macabre…nor sinister. It was just (usually) damned good speculative story telling. Sometimes sci-fi. Sometimes fantasy. Sometimes simply “what if”. But, it always had a sharp insight into what it meant to be human.

    2. Like Thorzdad, I agree fully.  And I also don’t think that we need to be geeked about the “new places” it could go, since storytelling is timeless, and new effects have proved over and over again to be not much help.

  5. I was watching TZ re-runs the other night, and they showed an episode that must have originally been broadcast live. It was really amazing to study how they worked the two-camera set-up, alternating shots as one camera was live and the other one moved to a new position. Sometimes noticing that a scenery wall had obviously been moved into place, etc. It was a really cool show of early tv production.

  6. Dang.  At first, I misread the italics.  A Hannibal and Bates Motel series sounds a lot better than a Hannibal show and a Bates Motel show.

  7. I remember the Outer Limits originals scared the crap out of me as a small Vulcan (my emotions were still out then) and they had a lot of nightmare fuel images. “the zanti misfits” especially. The reboot of Outer Limits had some excellent thought provoking episodes that were well written but the “Control ” voice turned the “moral” of the story into something stupid. 

    I just ignored the Control voice and watched the show deal with future science ethics. 

        1. I’ve been humming this tune to myself all day.  I love the holidays.

          WHY AM I SUCH A MISFIT ?
          Johnny Marks

          Why am I such a misfit?

          I am not just a nitwit.

          You can’t fire me I quit,

          since I don’t fit in.

          Why am I such a misfit?

          I am not just a nitwit.

          Just because my nose glows,

          why don’t I fit in?

    1. Some of the episodes of the newer “Outer Limits” were excellent.  Some…ugh.  Right there with you on the Control voice.

  8. I *loved* the 1985 series. In fact, one episode, “Quarantine”–about a cryonaut unthawed in a transhuman future full of bio- and femtotechnology–was one of the biggest influences on my taste in sci-fi. There were some lame episodes, sure, but there were lame episodes in Serling’s original, too.

    However, I’m no big fan of Brian Singer. His “H+” web series is an utter joke.

  9. I really like anthology series stuff, for the freedom it gives the writers to explore the unexpected. So in a related note, it’s worth pointing out that False Positive just started season 2… 

    For those who haven’t seen it, FP is an odd webcomic; it’s professionally drawn, in the anthology vein, rather than the usual ‘single arc’ or ‘single shot’ – though maybe more Tales from the Crypt than the Twilight Zone. There’s seasons with breaks rather than random pauses, or slow drip feeds (I hope this catches on – for the sanity of artists & readers everywhere!). And there seems to be an overarching plot connecting some of the stories, or possibly a Stephen King-like shared universe; but so far Mike is keeping it vague enough to taunt us. The endings are a bit weirder than the old EC comics.

    Anyway, fun if you like this kind of thing, and have the patience for webcomic pace.

  10. Sigh. Failure. You can’t remake classic TV series because no one is courageous enough to adopt a similar atmosphere and technique as the classic (which is why it’s a classic in the first place).

    Remakers HAVE to try to one up the original with better effects, more horrible situation, etc, etc.

    If they were smart, they’d pick up right where the old series ended and except for color and HD it would look and sound pretty much like the original series.

  11.  Absolutely — I still watch old Twilight Zone episodes, and they aren’t creepy – they are just what Patrick Oden said: insightful, psychological. Plus you get to see actors who later became famous before they were – obviously Wm Shatner, but I saw a great one with Warren Beatty who played a young man and the same man 20 years later (with gray sideburns)…

    1. I recently saw a 1960 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents doing Roald Dahl’s (“WIllie Wonka” etc etc etc) “…………… “The Smoker” (also known as “Man From the South”), was filmed twice as both 1960 and 1985 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and also adapted into Quentin Tarantino’s segment of the 1995 film Four Rooms.[77] This oft-anthologised classic concerns a man in Jamaica who wagers with visitors in an attempt to claim the fingers from their hands. The 1960 Hitchcock version stars Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre.[77]……”

      Young Steve McQueen opposite aging Peter Lorre was a real treat!

      Also, Dahl’s short stories were the basis of the early episodes of “Tale Of The Unexpected.”
      Read more:

  12. Not sure how to feel about this.  The last attempt crashed and burned spectacularly.  If they devote enough budget to it, and enough decent talent to it, it could rival the original.  If not…

    Offtopic, I know, but when I see something I want to watch on Netflix, don’t have time, and check later only to find that it’s gone, my first reaction is usually, “That’s not fair. That’s not fair at all. There was time now.”

  13. Rod Serling’s instincts will be found where, exactly? He didn’t just host it, he oversaw it. He bought scripts from Richard Matheson, Earl Hamner Jr, Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, Jerome Bixby, Henry Slesar. I’m not saying that writers of their caliber don’t exist now (stunt-casting predicts Michael Chabon), but I’m not sure that taste-makers of Serling’s caliber do.

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