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:

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!

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About Paul

Hard-working, hard-playing fan of all pop culture, especially the Twilight Zone. Which led to a Twitter page. And then to a blog. And then to ... stay tuned. Yes, that's a picture of Rod Serling, not me. You can find the real me under the "Your Host" tab on my blog, along with biographical details that, while 100 percent accurate, sound kind of boastful and braggy. Sorry.

Posted on 05/31/2017, in Rod Serling. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. tommy8675309

    What a great idea, sign me up!

    In the same way that the Beatles station plays songs by bands that were simply inspired by them, would your Serling station also have works by writers (or interviews with them) like Charles Beaumont and Montgomery Pittman – so by other writers that worked on The Twilight Zone with Serling?

    • Will do! And I like that idea. Highlighting the work of other TZ writers makes a lot of sense (especially Richard Matheson — what a body of work). Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Amazing idea! I’d watch that channel 24/7 for sure. You could also have documentaries on about Serling and some of the people he worked with. I agree about including his other work. As brilliant as Twilight Zone is, it would be a bit much to air it all the time and nothing else.

  3. I would watch that channel and I might even buy products from the sponsors. I have the TZ discs in my DVD player almost all the time, and when changing a disc to get to a favorite is too much, I check the DVR. When I cat-sit for my daughter, I pin her Netflix account to the Zone. Granted, I watch other shows, but when the regular programming becomes dull, I fall back on the Zone. Having a bit more programming there, along with a somewhat random line-up, I’d be good for a long time.

    • Exactly. TZ is a terrific fall-back. Oftentimes when I’m just not in the mood for something else, I’ll slip in a TZ — either a classic or one of the less-famous ones that I haven’t seen for a little while. I enjoy picking up little things I missed before. And ha, as for sponsors — imagine if this channel aired some of Serling’s old commercials! That’d be amusing.

      • Do they still make Chesterfields? Years ago, I took my daughter to the TV & Radio Museum in NYC (now Paley center) and we watched “The Monsters are due on Maple St” complete with original commercials. She had never seen a cigarette commercial before.

      • Good ol’ Wikipedia informs me, “The brand is still being made today; it is still popular in Europe, but has been absent from U.S. advertising for many years.” And yes, cigarette ads look about as normal today as ads for liquor. Times change! Sometimes for the better, but often for the worse.

  4. I love the idea! I’d love to see his other work! #AllSerlingAllTheTime!

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