Jordan Peele will follow in Rod Serling's footsteps by serving as host and providing narration for The Twilight Zone - a TV revival that he's also producing for CBS All Access. The project will send the former Key & Peele star further down the rabbit hole of socially-conscious genre fare that he entered by making last year's Oscar-winning hit, Get Out. X-Men series mainstay Simon Kinberg is producing the show (through his Genre Films banner) alongside Peele's Monkeypaw Productions and the late Rod's wife, Carol Serling.
Peele and Kinberg's Twilight Zone relaunch will retain the anthology format of the original TV show, as well as its general satirical bent. CBS' EVP of Original Content Julie McNarama recently confirmed that the series already has an entire season of "concepts, outlines, scripts" finished and ready for production to begin in the near future. The first season will span ten episodes and, in turn, give those who've been holding out on signing up for CBS' exclusive streaming service (which premiered its flagship original series Star Trek: Discovery last year) all the more reason to finally do so.
Peele has further confirmed that The Twilight Zone will begin streaming in 2019 and posted a teaser clip of his opening narration for the series to his Twitter account. Take a look at the clip below, then read on for the explanation that Peele gave to Variety, regarding why he feels now is the right time for The Twilight Zone to make its (hopefully, triumphant) return, following the end of its initial run in 1964.
“The realization, for me, was that it was an opportunity to attempt to continue with Serling’s mission. If we approach it without ego and sort of bow to Serling, that will hopefully suffice for our fellow ‘Twilight Zone’ fans but also bring back a show that I think is needed right now. Because it’s a show that has always helped us look at ourselves, hold a mirror up to society.”
The low-budget and high concept-driven nature of The Twilight Zone makes it an excellent match for Peele's storytelling sensibilities and should allow the series to attract a menagerie of directors who're eager and willing to use the show's format to explore whatever social issues or concerns they have through the lens of genre. It's also part of an incoming coalition of episodic anthology TV series that includes Amazon's The Romanoffs (the new project by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner) and Hulu's Into the Dark (from Peele's Get Out collaborator Blumhouse). Now that Netflix counts Charlie Brooker's Twilight Zone-esque Black Mirror among its original series, The Twilight Zone will give CBS All Access its own horse in that particular race to become a dominant source for quality content in the age of the streaming service.
The Twilight Zone begins streaming on CBS All Access in 2019. We will let you know when it gets a firm premiere date.