Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959-1964)
The Twilight Zone is an American media franchise based on the anthology television series created by Rod Serling. The episodes are in various genres, including fantasy, science fiction, suspense, horror and psychological thriller, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist, and usually with a moral. A popular and critical success, it introduced many Americans to common science fiction and fantasy tropes. The original series, shot entirely in black and white, ran on CBS for five seasons from 1959 to 1964. The success of the series led to a feature film (1983), a TV film (1994), a radio series (2002–2012), literature including a comic book, novels and a magazine and a theme park attraction and various other spin-offs that spanned five decades, including three revival television series. The first revival (1985–89) ran on CBS and in syndication in the 1980s, while the second revival ran on UPN (2002–2003). In December 2017, CBS All Access officially ordered the third Twilight Zone revival to series, helmed by Jordan Peele. The series premiered on April 1, 2019.
As a boy, Serling was a fan of pulp fiction stories. As an adult, he sought topics with themes such as racism, government, war, society, and human nature in general. Serling decided to combine these two interests as a way to broach these subjects on television at a time when such issues were not commonly addressed. Throughout the 1950s, Serling established himself as one of the most popular names in television. He was as famous for writing televised drama as he was for criticizing the medium’s limitations. His most vocal complaints concerned censorship, which was frequently practiced by sponsors and networks.