The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)

The Twilight Zone
Created byRod Serling
Presented byRod Serling
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes156 (list of episodes)
Executive producerRod Serling
CinematographyGeorge T. Clemens
Running time25 min. (seasons 1–3, 5)
51 min. (season 4)[citation needed]
Production companiesCayuga Productions, Inc.
CBS Productions
Original release
ReleaseOctober 2, 1959 (1959-10-02) –
June 19, 1964 (1964-06-19)
Infobox instructions (only shown in preview)

The Twilight Zone (marketed as Twilight Zone for its final two seasons) is an American science fiction horror anthology television series created and presented by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from October 2, 1959, to June 19, 1964.[1] Each episode presents a standalone story in which characters find themselves dealing with often disturbing or unusual events, an experience described as entering "the Twilight Zone", often with a surprise ending and a moral. Although predominantly science-fiction, the show's paranormal and Kafkaesque events leaned the show towards fantasy and horror. The phrase "twilight zone", inspired by the series, is used to describe surreal experiences.

The series featured both established stars and younger actors who would become much better known later. Serling served as executive producer and head writer; he wrote or co-wrote 92 of the show's 156 episodes. He was also the show's host and narrator, delivering monologues at the beginning and end of each episode, and typically appeared on-screen to address the audience directly during the opening scene. Serling's opening and closing narrations usually summarize the episode's events encapsulating how and why the main character(s) had entered the Twilight Zone.

In 1997, the episodes "To Serve Man" (directed by Richard L. Bare) and "It's a Good Life" (directed by James Sheldon)[2] were respectively ranked at 11 and 31 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.[3] Serling himself stated that his favorite episodes of the series were "The Invaders" (directed by Douglas Heyes) and "Time Enough at Last"[4] (directed by John Brahm).[5]

The Twilight Zone is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time.[6] In 2002, the series was ranked No. 26 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.[7] In 2004, it was ranked No. 8 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever,[8] moving to No. 9 three years later.[9] In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it as the third best-written TV series ever[10] and TV Guide ranked it as the fourth greatest drama,[11] the second greatest sci-fi show[12] and the fifth greatest show of all time.[13] In 2016, the series was ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest shows of all time[14] and was ranked No. 12 in 2022.[15] In 2023, Variety ranked The Twilight Zone #14 on its own list of the 100 greatest TV shows of all time.[16] JSPII

  1. ^ Tallerico, Brian (March 29, 2019). "'The Twilight Zone': Here's Why We Still Care". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  2. ^ Thompson, David. The Twilight Zone FAQ.
  3. ^ "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28 – July 4). 1997.
  4. ^ "Rod Serling Revels his Favorite TWILIGHT ZONE Episodes". GeekTyrant. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  5. ^ Thompson, David. The Twilight Zone FAQ.
  6. ^ Brownfield, Troy (October 2, 2019). "6 Reasons The Twilight Zone Is the Greatest Series in TV History". The Saturday Evening Post. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  7. ^ "TV Guide Names Top 50 Shows". CBS News. CBS Interactive. April 26, 2002. Archived from the original on June 5, 2002. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "25 Top Cult Shows Ever!". TV Guide. May 30, 2004.
  9. ^ "TV Guide Names the Top Cult Shows Ever". June 29, 2007. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "101 Best Written TV Series List". Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2016. (archived)
  11. ^ Roush, Matt (February 25, 2013). "Showstoppers: The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time". TV Guide. pp. 16–17.
  12. ^ "The 60 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows of All Time". TV Guide Magazine. September 16–22, 2013.
  13. ^ Fretts, Bruce; Roush, Matt. "The Greatest Shows on Earth". TV Guide Magazine. 61 (3194–3195): 16–19.
  14. ^ "100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 21, 2016.
  15. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (September 26, 2022). "The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time - 50-1". Rolling Stone.
  16. ^ "The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time". Variety. December 20, 2023.