Does Television Need Another Twilight Zone?

Deadline is reporting that The Twilight Zone may be returning to television for the fourth time. Writer/directer/producer Bryan Singer, whose attempted reboot of The Munsters stalled at the pilot stage (NBC aired the pilot, “Mockingbird Lane,” as a Halloween special in late October), has been signed by CBS TV Studios to develop and potentially direct the pilot for a new version of Rod Serling’s iconic anthology series. There is no writer for the pilot yet and it is far to early for a network to express interest. Furthermore, the Serling estate has yet to sign off, so there is still a chance the deal could fall through. There have already been two remakes of the classic CBS series, which ran for five seasons from 1959 to 1964. Neither were able to recapture the tone of the original. Still, the first remake ran for three seasons, the first two on CBS from 1985 to 1987 and the third in first-run syndication from 1988 to 1989. The second lasted just one season on UPN from 2002-2003.

Lately, it seems like not a month goes by that another remake or reboot of a decades-old television series is announced. But nobody ever wants to remake obscure and forgotten shows, ones that so few people remember that they’d pretty much be brand new. If someone wanted to remake The Tab Hunter Show or Nancy I doubt there would be any sort of uproar about the lack of imagination and originality in Hollywood. Plus, even if the remake failed and was off the air in a matter of weeks, it might generate enough interest to get the original released on DVD. If the only way to see Coronet Blue on DVD is a high-concept reboot with a twist — the main character is now a woman without amnesia or maybe a dog with amnesia — then I welcome the Bryan Singers of the world with open arms. Remake every obscure television I’ve ever written about.

As for the potential fourth version of The Twilight Zone, if it does come to fruition I’ll probably tune in, at least for the pilot.

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