CBS boss Leslie Moonves said during the company’s earnings call with investors today that it is rebooting the iconic TV series The Twilight Zone to stream on CBS All Access, its SVOD service that features the new Star Trek: Discovery.
The streaming service has been ramping up its original series auspices, already airing Season 1 of The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight starring Christine Baranski. Moonves said CBS was aiming for the same kind of leveraging of classic TV as Star Trek: Discovery, which spurred strong signups when it premiered and has already been renewed for a second season.
He delivered the brief news flash as part of a discussion of the strides made by CBS All Access. He gave no details on the creative team for a new Twilight Zone, or when new episodes would be delivered, though sources say that Jordan Peele is in discussions to shepherd the project via his Monkeypaw banner.
CBS All Access already offers the original anthology series created by Rod Serling, which aired from 1959-64 on CBS. It won a pair of Emmys for Serling’s writing, spawned a feature film and a pair of short-lived TV revivals. In 2013, the WGA ranked The Twilight Zone No.3 on its list of 101 Best Written TV Shows of All Time.
The streaming service dominated both the company’s introductory remarks and the questions from analysts. Moonves positioned the Twilight Zone reboot as the latest example of the company’s strategy to produce its own shows and feed an increasing number of them to the streaming service.
“The good news is, the bet is paying off,” he said. Asked about how the company determines the right content for All Access, Moonves said: “The programming kind of needs to be more premium than it would be on CBS. … It needs to be more specialized, needs to stand out.” All Access has drawn an audience that is 20 years younger than the average viewer of CBS, he added.
Netflix’s entry as international distribution partner on Star Trek: Discovery funded a “large part” of that series, Moonves said, admitting it was “expensive.” The notion of an international partner on the show was not addressed on the call.
For CBS, it’s a long game, Moonves said. “There will continue to be a widening gap between the haves and have-nots, and clearly we are on the right side of that divide,” he said.
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