CBS is developing a reboot of the famed 1960s science fiction/horror anthology show The Twilight Zone to be streamed via their CBS All Access service. CBS All Access already has a hit on its hands with Star Trek: Discovery, which has been so popular it even crashed the streaming service during its debut episode. Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw company is reportedly working with CBS on the revival.
Created by Rod Serling, who rose to iconic status as the show’s cigarette-smoking on-air presenter, The Twilight Zone first aired on CBS from 1959 to 1964. The anthology series often channeled Cold War paranoia for its various horror, science fiction and supernatural stories, and became famed for its sometimes shocking final-act twists. Two Twilight Zone revival series have already made the airwaves, one in the late ’80s and the other in the early ’00s. A movie version was released in 1983, featuring segments directed by famous filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, George Miller and John Landis.
With Star Trek: Discovery bringing in Trek fans, CBS is hoping to hit gold with another of its old properties by reviving The Twilight Zone on its CBS All Access service. According to THR, Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw is behind the project, with Marco Ramirez (The Defenders) set to write the pilot and serve as showrunner. CBS chief Les Moonves announced the project during the company’s earnings call but did not confirm any other details.
Peele, formerly best-known as one half of the comedy team Key & Peele, is swiftly establishing himself as a modern-day horror maven. Peele had a massive hit earlier this year with his Twilight Zone-inspired movie Get Out, which in Serling-esque fashion used the conventions of the thriller genre to slyly explore social issues. Peele also is reportedly developing the anthology series Lovecraft Country at HBO, which would tackle Jim Crow America through the lens of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired horror.
If anything was missing from previous efforts to revive The Twilight Zone, it was that willingness Serling had to infuse many episodes with a certain topicality, bringing an edge of social commentary to what otherwise might have been merely an entertaining series. Like Peele, Serling wanted Twilight Zone to do more than just scare people, and many of its best-remembered episodes are those that succeeded in taking the temperature of early-’60s America while also delivering chills and thrills.
In addition to The Twilight Zone, CBS All Access is reportedly developing the period drama Strange Angel, the comedy No Activity from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and the rust-belt mystery/thriller $1. The service already offers the Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight alongside Star Trek: Discovery.
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