No Twilight Zone Marathon on July 4th? Say It Ain’t So, Syfy

This isn’t the Twilight Zone marathon blog post I thought I’d be writing.

I was sure I’d be continuing my late-June tradition of publishing the schedule for the Syfy channel’s July 4 line-up of TZ episodes. But we recently learned they won’t be airing a marathon that day – unless you’re counting their replacement: an all-day slate of “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies.

Hey, I enjoy some Elm Street action at times. But I think even Freddy Krueger would admit the real horror here is leaving people without their biannual fifth-dimensional fix.

It’s true that this isn’t unprecedented. In 2011, Syfy ran a Greatest American Hero marathon over the Fourth. Granted, that’s more thematically appropriate, but you mess with TZ fans at your peril. They complained – mightily – and TZ returned in 2012.

Now, Syfy hasn’t messed with the Big One (yet): the New Year’s Eve marathon. That would be real sacrilege. This is bad enough, of course! But between the two, I’ll take the NYE one over the Independence Day one.

On July 4, the weather tends to be nicer. People are usually outside — playing games, grilling out, watching fireworks. But on New Year’s? There’s something about the cold, dreary days after Christmas is over that makes a TZ marathon feel like a balm to the soul.

Still, we’re TZ fans. We want our dose of Serling! So if you’re inclined to complain to Syfy, I don’t blame you a bit. I would simply encourage you to do it politely. After all, Syfy isn’t a public service. They aren’t contractually bound to provide us with TZ.

And even if they were, what’s more effective? To tell them they suck and that you’ll never watch their rotten, expletive-deleted station again if they don’t restore the marathon? Or to say you’re a long-time viewer who’s really disappointed — that you won’t be watching Freddy slice his way through a long list of teenage victims?

Now, some people have had the opposite reaction: Who cares? I have my discs or my streaming service. I don’t need Syfy, with its cut-up, ad-glutted episodes.

And I can respect that. Heck, I once wrote a post called “Marathon Misgivings”. But you know what? There’s still something about a marathon, as I explain in my post “Are TV Marathons Passé?

A lot of people agree. In fact, a couple have suggested that I host a replacement marathon. We could, they say, create a line-up of episodes for people to watch on Netflix, Hulu, or on disc.

It’s a nice idea, but – sorry! – not something I plan to do. It’s enough work as it is to live-tweet a slate of episodes that are being controlled by someone else. But to try and work with people who are watching via a slew of different services? Think about it. They’re sure to be uncoordinated, especially as time goes by. At least with Syfy, I know everyone is looking at the same thing at the same time!

It’s true that Shelley Young over on the various Facebook Twilight Zone fan pages hosts a monthly “Zonefest” where people watch three or four episodes via whatever discs or service they have and then fan along on FB. But that’s the thing – it’s three or four episodes. Now imagine it over 30 or so.

So while I appreciate the enthusiasm and the initiative, I won’t be hosting a do-it-yourself marathon. Mind you, I don’t mean fans shouldn’t be doing it themselves. Heck, spend your Fourth bingeing on TZ – Lord knows I take TZ breaks on a regular basis. Or join the folks on the TZ page(s) on FB. I’ll certainly have some good tweets lined up for you that day – I just won’t be live-tweeting a marathon.

At least not officially. Let’s face it, what is my Twitter page but a 365-day-a-year marathon? (Seriously, I never miss tweeting DAILY at least a little bit about Serling’s work.) Sure, we’re unhappy with Syfy, and we should tell them that. But let’s keep things in perspective. We’re lucky enough to be able to enjoy TZ almost everywhere we go.

You could say we’re free to Zone out whenever we like. What could be more fitting to celebrate on Independence Day? So let’s have a good one. Enjoy the many other times that Syfy broadcasts TZ. (They rerun it almost daily.) And then prepare to enjoy the big marathon on NYE.

Now, if they drop that one? Well, then we’ll unleash Talky Tina on them …

UPDATE: I learned recently that the Decades network will be airing a TZ marathon on July 4 starting at 7:00 a.m. EST. Very welcome news, obviously! Alas, Decades doesn’t yet have as far a reach as Syfy, so many fans won’t be able to watch it. Click here to see if Decades is on in your area. Click here for the schedule.

***

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Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!

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About Paul

Fanning about the work of Rod Serling all over social media. If you enjoy pics, quotes, facts and blog posts about The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Serling's other projects, you've come to the right place.

Posted on 06/24/2018, in Twilight Zone and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 76 Comments.

  1. I am sad to see the 4th of July Marathon getting skipped. I will try to find other sources, but I like the randomness of someone else’s programming and I like the online banter with others who are watching.

    • Exactly! Sure, we can see TZ elsewhere, but that’s not the point. There’s a community aspect to the marathon that no disc or streaming service can fill.

  2. …and the Philistines will get their just desserts…in the Twilight Zone….

  3. Nice blog as usual. I do like the more conservative approach in terms of a “rebellion” as you stated. The simple facts are money. They are going to put on what they think will sell. Maybe next year they will see the error as in 2011 and return to…The Twilight zone

    • The TZ marathon usually performs well for them, but they may have simply thought they’d mix it up this time around. They’re not diehard fans like we are — they’re just trying to fill programming hours. My hope, yes, is that people complain enough to cause them to revert back to TZ next summer.

  4. My eyes lit up when you brought out the suggestion of hosting your own marathon…and then i felt like a deflated balloon. lol But I totally understand why it’d be hard to do and have it organized. I’ll still follow your page that day to see the random tweets. Just like every day. :)

  5. Peter J Halacy

    This is extremely disappointing for me. I’m a huge Zone fan. I will find something else. I won’t be watching SyFy. I know that. Is any show with intelligence not allowed on today’s television? Sad.

    • It really does seem like intelligent sci-fi fantasy has no place today. There are some good programs, to be sure, but TZ is one in a million.

  6. Shame on Syfy. I’ve been blowing up their email. I urge everyone to do the same. Boycott Syfy — they pissed off all of us fans of the Twilight Zone.

    • I share your frustration — we should definitely let them know how we feel, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for boycotting. I still recommend the more diplomatic approach I described above, but yeah — we should make our displeasure known, no question.

      • Does anyone have the SyFy e-mail address to post here? I’d like to send them my thoughts on their cancelling it this year. I always look forward to having the tv on all day while I’m home and hearing it in the background, then running in to watch 2 or 3 in a row, and doing that off and on all day. Now what the heck am I going to watch! I know, it’s available other places, but there was just something special about having something good on tv for two days a year. Hopefully they’ll be doing it on New Year’s?

      • A, here’s some useful info from Syfy’s site:

        Please send us an e-mail detailing your comments to feedback@syfy.com, visit us at http://www.syfy.com/feedback, or feel free to call and leave a message with your comments on our Viewer Comments line, at 212-413-5577.

      • Hi – I just tried to call the SyFy voice mail (given above as 212-413-5577 ) and it says it’s for USA network. Is that the correct number? It said the voice mail box is full (fancy that) and they’d connect me to an operator. Then the operator line said, “No operators are available right now” and hung up. I’m hoping that’s because of all the disgruntled customers like us calling in. My e-mail to them did go through.

  7. No way! I always considered The July 4th Twilight Zone Marathon7 a Belated B-day present to myself. (Being born on the on July 3rd).
    I am quite upset, What did I do to deserve this? I lived for this day. Dealing with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer over the past year. I was looking forward to the Twilight Zone Marathon. I am very sad. Not sure if I will be around next year if the Marathon returns.

    • So sorry to hear that, Stephanie! I realize this is a very serious diagnosis, but I certainly hope you can manage to beat this. I’m not sure if you have access to TZ via DVDs or through some streaming service like Netflix or Hulu, but I hope you can treat yourself to some TZ for your birthday.

  8. Well, it looks like I won’t be watching the SiFi channel during the 4th this year. Not worth it. We all look forward to the TZ marathon every year on the 4th, a disappointed family.

  9. Ruben Figueroa

    Well, I guess since I only watch this channel 2 days a year, it doesn’t matter what I say. Just an FYI, SYFY, now I will only watch once a year. BS BS BS!!!!

  10. Lynda M Laursen

    I am SO DISAPPOINTED!!!! I look forward to the Twilight Zone marathon during the 4th of July. Why?????? Why?

  11. This is truly crazy.. I love Twilight zone 4th of July and New Years Eve. For me it just won’t be the same on July 4th.

  12. The Decades channel, if you have it, is airing the marathon this July 4.

    • Yes, I found that out late last week, and added an update to the end of the post above. It doesn’t have the reach of Syfy, but hey, it’s something!

  13. If you have a channel called “Decades” (Channel 201 on Charter Spectrum) they are running a Twilight Zone Marathon from 6am PST July 4 to 5am July 5th.

    • A twilight zone fan

      Good morning, thank you so much! Happy 4th — be safe.

    • Yes, as I mentioned to “HollywoodCoyote” above, I found out late last week about the Decades marathon, and have since added an update to the end of the post. It doesn’t have the reach of Syfy, but hey, it’s something!

  14. I definitely won’t be watching SYFY this 4th. Very disappointed:(

  15. A twilight zone fan

    The decades channel in Florida is only on Spectrum in Jacksonville and Miami and neither part I do not live in or near. Help need another alternative 😣

  16. A twilight zone fan

    And my on demand channel will come all the seasons 11th of July.

  17. Sharon Oegues

    Is there anything we can do? Can we petition the Syfy channel for next year‘s lineup? This is really sad. I too, like one of the other writers , plan my very short July 4 holiday around this bi-annual ritual in our home To tell you the truth, I noticed last July how short the schedule had become… I spoke with a friend of mine then — Another avid twilight zone marathon fan — And told her, this is a shadow of things to come. I’m just praying New Year’s Eve we won’t get Short changed .

    • The funny thing is, it wasn’t that long ago that Syfy ran a super-sized TZ marathon (for NYE, not July 4th) that featured all 156 episodes in order (and in HD). And they usually prove a ratings winner for them, so I’m not sure why they changed it up. Maybe it was for the sheer novelty of it. But yes, the real test will be NYE.

      At least they continue to air daily reruns (albeit at some pretty terrible hours). In the meantime, I would suggest letting Syfy know how you feel. From their website: “Please send us an e-mail detailing your comments to feedback@syfy.com, visit us at http://www.syfy.com/feedback, or feel free to call and leave a message with your comments on our Viewer Comments line, at 212-413-5577.”

  18. Decades channel is also on YouTube TV.

  19. A twilight zone fan

    Good morning I have no access to decades, Netflix etc… I only have spectrum

    Now here is what they told me on July 11th on Demand spectrum will break all the episodes open under SYFY! That’s total bull larky😠 now how long will those episodes stay on if I but waiting until July 11th bull just bull. They could’ve open these episodes on 7/4 2018 I am beyond pissed for flipping real😠😠😠😠😠😡😡😡😡

  20. A twilight zone fan

    Good morning Happy 4th I am watching the marathon on the Decades channel season 4 on the Decades channel. It’s a blessing and I’ll take it.

  21. A twilight zone fan

    Thank you so much for this blog and thank you so much for everything.

  22. Jewl Hawkins

    😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😧😧 no Twilight Zone why? why? please don’t do this to us Twilight Zone Marathon lovers, I can’t believe you all got that Nightmare on Elm Street airing,it does not scare me and it’s corny& boring if you ask me,I’m not a fan of Nightmare on Elm street Freddy Krueger played out long time ago when he took his mask off to show his real face, it’s like telling us there is no Santa Claus, we want Sterling we want Sterling we want Sterling we want Twilight Zone Marathon we want Twilight Zone Marathon, just like one of the other commentator said he had his popcorn ready and a day off work and ready for the Twilight Zone Marathon,& I agree with him I was going to do the same thing, now I have to go to Netflix or Amazon and it’s not the same as it is on the Syfy, shame on you people doing that to us.

  23. The SyFy channel is letting us know that Twilight Zone fans are of little consequence; dropping the TZ marathon in favor of some other programming is a slap in the face. We count on that July 4th marathon. What a ratty thing to do!!

  24. Very disappointed in this programming decision. Its been a stable for years and always watched. Only a couple of good Nightmare on Elm Street’s anyway so Syfy sorry but I’m out for today

  25. I am so disappointed in a no show for Twilight Zone. I looked forward to it each and every year and miss it terribly. Elm Street, whatever. Twilight Zones are classics done at times in one room and the actors, amazing. This is as American as Apple Pie. Bring it back, PLEASE. Turning off the channel in protest…not getting my ratings today…sad. The skits were so great and so creative and as many times as I see these episodes, I still LOVE them and get something new out of them, year after year… Everything changes I know but this was one constant I looked forward to watching and enjoying each year. Bahumbug

    • I couldn’t agree more! I don’t mind the occasional Elm Street or some other horror movie, but a marathon? On July 4? Very odd.

  26. Kerri Standing

    I was so upset as well that the Twilight Zo e marathon was not running!! I was looking forward to it as well…. please bring it back next year

  27. Thanks for the info on Decades. I have it on now.

  28. Lilly jones

    I can`t believe it! Terrible choice for the SyFy network. Breking a great tradtion! Won’t be watching SyFy anytime soon

  29. Nichole Parker

    Really??? I’m so not happy with the Syfy channel’s decision to not air the Twilight Zone marathon!! Cooking a bunch of food, making Smores, and avoiding fireworks on the 4th of July and watching this is a family tradition! I was actually questioning my viewing sanity. Thought I had my holiday mixed up! If they don’t air it for New Year’s Eve, we’re through!

  30. BIG MISTAKE !,BIG!, HUGE! I, like the rest of you,look forward to the TZ marathon twice a year.The SYFY channel better listen to us and bring it back ,because our numbers are larger than they think! My 4th of July was totally ruined!!

  31. I’m catching it on Decades. Thanks to
    My mom!!!

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