Okay, let’s get one thing straight, CBS All Access isn’t in trouble, per se. For all intents and purposes, this CBS streaming service is still going strong. In fact, it just announced that its The Twilight Zone reboot will debut on April 1, 2019. This re-imagining of the Rod Serling classic will be hosted and produced by none other than Jordan Peele of Key and Peele fame. As a longtime fan of the clever writing of The Twilight Zone original series, this remake sounds interesting. That said, I don’t think it’s enough to inspire me to shell out $9.99/month for this streaming service.
Before we go any further, check out CBS All Access’s The Twilight Zone trailer:
What We Know About Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone…
… Well, we know that this content is exclusive to CBS All Access, much like Star Trek: Discovery. We also know that it’s helmed by the indomitable Mr. Peele, fresh off his well-earned Get Out fame. CBS Television Studios and Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions will produce the show, along with Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films. Peele and Kinberg head the team of executive producers. The first two episodes will air on April 1st, with new episodes added every Thursday after that.
With what we know out of the way, let’s take a look at what we suspect. Based on the trailer, it seems that Peele is going to be running the show. His narrative voice is intertwined with that of Rod Serling, the show’s iconic host form the original series. This raises the question of whether Peele and company are going to remake those classic episodes similar to 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie? Or does Peele plan to write all new episodes? It will be interesting to see what he does with it.
Peele Perfect for Twilight Zone Reboot
Peele is thought of as a biting comedic satirist, but it’s easy to see why CBS entrusted him with its cherished Twilight Zone brand. He showed his range when he created Get Out, a horror film that drew inspiration from Twilight Zone-like themes and combined them with social commentary and plenty of scares. Few will doubt Peele’s ability to helm this series; but, most might also admit that Rod Serling left some mighty big shoes to fill. It should be interesting too see what Hollywood’s latest it-guy will do with this classic series.
Peele’s take on this classic will be the third time this series has been rebooted for TV. The first, known as the “First Revival,” ran on CBS between 1985 and 1989. The second, developed by UPN and hosted by Forest Whitaker, ran from 2002-2003 before being cancelled. Between these two was a made-for-TV movie titled Twilight Zone: Rod Serling’s Lost Classics. This ran in 1994 and featured, as the title implies, three un-filmed short stories by Serling. Peele’s reboot marks the third revival of the series.
Is The Twilight Zone the next Star Trek: Discovery?
The thing about The Twilight Zone is that it’s one of those shows that creates an indelible impact on nearly everyone who’s seen it. Most people have at least one episode that was so twisted and creepy that they still can’t forget it. For me, it was episode 145, known as The Masks. They were hideous and so was the reveal at the end of that episode. It actually gave me nightmares as a kid.
Because of its enduring popularity, The Twilight Zone has a dedicated and organized fan base. There’s a Twilight Zone Museum and even some conventions based on this popular series. Perhaps that’s why CBS All Access is going this route. It’s very similar to their approach with Star Trek: Discovery, which is a new Star Trek series that’s exclusive to CBS All Access subscribers.
Could This Move Backfire on CBS All Access?
The move to offer serious fans an exclusive update on a classic show could backfire on CBS. It’s happened before, and I’m proud to say that the blog team of Buckler and Sweet more or less predicted this. Back in September 2017, I predicted that Discovery wouldn’t be enough to get diehard Trekkies to pay for this CBS streaming service. I even said that my colleague Stuart, the most fanatical Trekkie I know, as being too smart for that obvious ploy. Sometimes I think Stuart lives to prove me wrong.
Like a moth to the flame, he ran out and got his CBS All Access subscription and tuned into the latest incarnation of his favorite show. But did he like it? Apparently not enough to justify the monthly cost of this CBS streaming service. Just revisit his first and second ranting blog posts about it. His venom will practically drip through your monitor. After reading them, I was like, “Dude! Would it kill ya to follow my advice just once in your life?”
Truthfully, I’ll have to wait to find out if The Twilight Zone will be a gamechanger for CBS All Access. Unlike Stuart, I saw this streaming service for what it was and happily avoided it. He, on the other hand, still clutches to his subscription so he won’t miss one precious nanosecond of his beloved Star Trek: Discovery. I have a feeling that he’ll tune in to Jordan Peele’s take on The Twilight Zone and report back to us. I can almost read the title now: “Buckler is an Idiot and The Twilight Zone Reboot is TV Gold.”
Streaming with the AirTV Player
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