CBS All Access could be entering another dimension and cross over to The Twilight Zone once again and this time, the remake could (and should) stick.
The Twilight Zone is no stranger to remakes and revivals. The original series ran from 1959-1964. The first revival happened from 1985-1989, then there was CBS’s Rod Serling’s Lost Classics in 1994 and UPN gave us the last revival in 2002 with host Forest Whitaker. And here’s where CBS All Access comes in. The streaming service is working on another revival with The Hollywood Reporter saying Jordan Peele of Key and Peele and Get Out fame producing from a script by The Defenders‘ Marco Ramirez. This Twilight Zone revival is poised to be a hit, for a number of reasons.
First of all, the platform. CBS All Access has demonstrated a willingness to buck traditional broadcast standards since it’s streaming. Christine Baranski says f—k on The Good Fight. There was even an eff bomb in space on Star Trek: Discovery, the franchise’s first. Think how crazy The Twilight Zone could get without the shackles of broadcast TV, from content to special effects.Star Trek: Discovery is gorgeous to look at. Yeah, we have Black Mirror on Netflix now, but that has a decidedly technological slant.
Then there’s the talent. Peele shocked audiences and critics alike with his heralded Get Out. He reinvented horror and political commentary in one fell swoop. Then there’s Ramirez. Sure, Marvel’s The Defenders and season two of Daredevil weren’t exactly the finest pieces of TV, but those were other people’s toys. Ramirez is a veteran playwright and other credits include Orange Is the New Black, Sons of Anarchy and Da Vinci’s Demons. That’s just the behind-the-scenes talent. The Twilight Zone has always had the ability to attract A-list talent and help catapult emerging talent to new stratospheres. The original series featured Leonard Nimoy, Carol Burnett, Cloris Leachman, Mickey Rooney and William Shatner. The 1985 version featured the likes of Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman. UPN’s revival had stars Jason Alexander, Amber Tamblyn, Portia De Rossi and Penn Badgley.
Viewers are ready and already embracing the types of stories The Twilight Zone would tell. Again, just look at the success of Emmy-winning Black Mirror. The state of the world, from the shift in dialogue about sexual assault to the political climate, there’s plenty of fodder for writers to tackle. Bring on the strange dimension!