UCLA to Screen Alternate Version of The New People Pilot Episode

The UCLA Film & Television Archive is in the middle of a Rod Serling retrospective titled “Rod Serling: Other Dimensions.” A web page for the retrospective can be found here while a Los Angeles Times article about the retrospective can be found here. It began in late July and will continue through mid-September. Screenings have thus far included episodes of The Twilight Zone and Playhouse 90 as well as rarities like Serling’s “Let Us Continue,” a 1964 short written by Serling for the United States Information Agency to outline President Johnson’s policies for the country’s allies, following the Kennedy assassination. Presented today will be “A Storm in Summer,” Serling’s 1970 Hallmark Hall of Fame episode about prejudice, and his 1972 unsold pilot for a proposed half-hour series based on “A Storm in Summer,” titled “We Two.”

In two weeks, on Saturday, September 8th, the retrospective will screen “The Shelter,” a 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone, “Class of ’99,” a 1971 episode of Night Gallery and a 51-minute version of the pilot episode for The New People. Recall that The New People aired in a 45-minute time slot. I don’t have the full details yet but presumably this means that The New People (and potentially The Music Scene, which aired after it) was originally intended to be an hour-long show. The pilot as broadcast runs just over 38 minutes which means this alternate version includes more than 10 minutes of additional footage.

I had never read or heard anything about there being another version of the pilot. I did know that a script exists for the pilot, written by Serling, that “differs considerably” from the broadcast version. And I have in my collection some reel-to-reel audio tapes used in the production of The New People, including one from the pilot that has on it several takes of a scene or a portion of a scene that is not in the broadcast version. I assumed that like many television episodes, it was just a line cut for time. Now, however, it could very well be a scene from the alternate, hour-long version of the pilot.

The September 8th screening has free admission. It is to my sincerest regret that I live on the wrong coast and cannot attend. If there is anyone out there who does make it to the screening, I would love to hear any thoughts on the hour-long version of The New People pilot and would be more than willing to post them here at Television Obscurities.

I hope to have more information about the alternate pilot episode closer to the day of the screening. If nothing else, the information provided about the screening confirms that CBS Television Studios currently owns the rights to The New People.

3 Comments

  • Tom Fox says:

    I was around eleven years old when The New People first aired, but remember it well. I even remember some of the episodes including the final episode where some of them went to the other side of the island and tried to signal a passing ship. I’ve been waiting for this series to come to DVD, and I’m still waiting. There have been some obscure shows that are finally making it to DVD, so there is some hope. I have the pilot episode, but never timed it to see what the running time is. Mine came from the Rod Serling estate, so maybe it is the longer version. I just found someone selling the remastered pilot episode at a good price online, and might pick it up since my copy is not the greatest. Too bad this series is all but forgotten. Enjoyed your site. Thanks. Tom

  • kollmar says:

    ….. isn.t it time to consider getting interviews of the NEW PEOPLE.S original cast????—-Tiffany Bollings kid sister; DANA KRAL is around here in Montclair New jersey–her folks just happen to be Jackie and Roy////a nationally recognized jazz/ entertainment team that lasted in Vegas for 3 decades—-etc etc…..

    • Jane says:

      YES!! I would just LOVE it if they got Zooey Hall to grant an interview. He seemed to drop off the radar in 1982, but starred in some cult classics like I Dismember Mama” and “Fortune and Men’s Eyes in 1971.

      I made two videos about him and posted them on You Tube. There I found others who know about the actor.

      Any chance of this coming to pass? Some idiot named Twaddles McGee commented on one of the videos that Zooey was living in Barstow getting SSI and drinking Sterno in his trailer. It’s such a cliched thing to say and likely totally false.

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