We knew that CBS was going to bring back “The Twilight Zone”, but we didn’t know in what form or any other details, until now. We now know that Jordan Peele, Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramierz will serve as executive producers on the show and will “collaborate on the premiere episode”. What we don’t know – when the show will be ready, who will be in it, or who’s writing for the show. But if it’s half as good as Star Trek: Discovery, it’s going to be amazing. Clearly, they’re two different shows. I am simply stating that it will be part of the CBS All Access network, and that is going to be good news.
The show was originally created by Rod Sterling, and it premiered on CBS in 1959. The show ran for five years. Which doesn’t seem very long, but it has become a major cultural phenomenon. It told the stories of moralistic, self-contained science fiction, fantasy and horror stories each week. And this isn’t the first time that CBS has tried to reboot this series. They first attempted to do so in 1985. It had mild success and lasted for three seasons. UPN produced a single season in 2002, without much success. In 2012, CBS started to explore a new version of The Twilight Zone, but that didn’t go anywhere.
But this kind of genre is popping right now. Which is why it makes sense that CBS wants to start exploring this as a possibility again. There are other Twilight Zone-like shows on the air right now – think Lore or Black Mirror. Amazon is also producing Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, which is also part of this science fiction genre.
The big news, though, is that they’ve scored Jordan Peele to produce. Why is this big news? He has had a ton of success with this year’s Get Out. I don’t want to get into this whole idea that it’s a comedy – I’ll leave that one alone. It is a horror film, as described by Peele himself. But the way he told that story was incredible. He used the horror genre to explore race and social issues related to race. Which is why I think he’ll do a great job with the Twilight Zone.
Peele described Get Out as a social thriller, and he said that he hoped to be able to direct more of these kinds of projects. And that’s kind of what The Twilight Zone is, isn’t it? To refer to The Twilight Zone as science fiction may have been pigeon-holing the show. It spans other genres also – fantasy, suspense and some might even call it a psychological thriller. Which means, there are endless possibilities with where this could go. I anticipate (and this is my speculation) that he will bring those social issues forward and present them in a way that remains true to The Twilight Zone. I am also confident that this will provide us with new ways to look at these social issues and bring awareness to them. All the while, making it entertaining and interesting.