In an Ideal World, We’d Have an All-Serling Channel
I was looking through my Twitter archive the other day when I came across this:
#WhenIRuleTheWorldI will create a streaming 24-hour channel available to all with uncut, commercial-free episodes of the Twilight Zone.
— The Twilight Zone (@TheNightGallery) May 7, 2015
I still think that would be a great idea! (Big surprise, I know.) But with an important change: I’d make it an all-Serling channel, not simply an all-TZ channel.
To me, that means airing not only episodes of The Twilight Zone, but of Night Gallery and The Loner. It means broadcasting the teleplays that first brought him fame, and the movies he scripted. It means showing interviews with the people who knew him best, along with other special material that celebrates his legacy.
In short, if it’s by or about Serling, you’d find it on my channel.
Now, there’s a practical reason for this: There are 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone, and while that’s a good run for a TV show, it takes only 87 hours to watch it all (technically less when you account for ad time) — a little over three and a half days.
That means every episode would air twice a week. Eight times a month. Ninety-six times a year. That’s a bit too frequent, I think, even for a diehard fan like myself! We don’t want over-indulgence to create TZ fatigue. Whether you’re talking about a fine wine or a fine television show, I believe we should ration the good stuff and make sure it doesn’t lose its special aura.
That, I think, explains the approach taken by the new Sirius XM channel devoted to the Beatles. As a huge fan of the group, I looked forward to it eagerly — and was a bit surprised when I also heard songs by each individual Beatle, along with live versions, alternate takes, and even songs by singers and groups that influenced the Beatles.
But it immediately made sense. You can run through the albums recorded by John, Paul, George, and Ringo in a matter of hours. Why run the risk of over-exposure? Especially when the four men wrote and recorded so many other terrific songs on their own.
And that leads me to the other reason I’d make my channel an all-Serling one. TZ will always be his crown jewel, but he wrote so many other excellent works before 1959 and after 1964. I’d want my station to show fans the full gamut of his talent and give a more well-rounded portrait of his abilities.
You can’t do that if you never leave the fifth dimension. In fact, an all-Serling station might make life in the other four a lot more enjoyable.
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Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!