Executive Producers Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg were “huge fans” of the The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) and three years ago they began discussing the proper approach to a 21st century reboot, one that would be truly worthy of sharing its name with the revered brand. The result, The Twilight Zone hosted by Peele, made its premiere April 1 on CBS All-Access, the subscription streaming site.
The challenge was how to best capture the singular essence of Rod Serling’s classic show while also matching the original show’s track record as an innovative storytelling force in television drama, Kinberg explained during The Twilight Zone panel at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys at the Paramount Theatre on the namesake studio’s lot.
“We were trying to figure out a way to do it that felt like it could honor the original show but also provide something original and feel contemporary,” Kinberg told Deadline’s Dominic Patten, the panel moderator.”So it’s a reboot in that the structure of the show is very much like the original. It has a sort of classic, timeless aesthetic that we were trying to achieve and it is fun genre storytelling with story parable in it as well. And a lot of the issues that we hit are issues that, unfortunately, Rod Serling was hitting in his time, too, and exist today.”
Few television shows invade the head-space of America the way The Twilight Zone did during its groundbreaking original run. The show’s title, its theme music, and many of its characters (including monotone narrator Rod Serling) became ingrained into the psyche of the nation. In 2013, the WGA named it the third-best written show in television history (behind The Sopranos and Seinfeld) while TV Guide ranked it as the fifth-best television series in broadcast history.
Kinberg, who just made his directorial debut with Fox’s Dark Phoenix, also directed the upcoming Season 1 finale of The Twilight Zone for the CBS All-Access streaming service. Kinberg was joined on the The Contenders Emmys panel by two Season 1 actors, Adam Scott and Sanaa Latham. Check out the conversation on the link above.
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