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The Twilight Zone (TV Series 1959–1964) Poster

(1959–1964)

Trivia

Rod Serling wanted Richard Egan to do the narration because of his rich, deep voice. However, due to strict studio contracts of the time, Egan was unable to. Serling said, "It's Richard Egan or no one. It's Richard Egan, or I'll do the thing myself," which is exactly what happened.
Series creator Rod Serling made up the phrase "Sixth Dimension" to use in season one's opening narration. William Self of CBS-TV asked him what was the fifth dimension (given that dimensions one through three are exemplified by a line, a plane, and a cube, respectively, and the fourth is time). Serling answered, "I don't know. Aren't there five?" He then changed the narration to "There is a fifth dimension..."
Rod Serling invited viewers to submit a script. He was flooded with over 14,000 scripts, and he actually got around to reading 500 of them. However, only two were any good, and he couldn't use them because they didn't fit the format of the show.
Rod Serling thought he had come up with the term "Twilight Zone" on his own (he liked the sound of it), but after the show aired he found out that it is an actual term used by Air Force pilots when crossing the day / night sides above the world.
The oft-parodied high-pitched guitar melody riff in the theme music was played by Howard A. Roberts.
Aug. 1, 2005--Rod Serling was ranked #1 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends"
Although the phrase "Submitted for your approval" from Rod Serling's opening narration has come to be closely identified with the show (and is often used by Serling impressionists), it is actually heard in only three episodes: The Twilight Zone: Cavender Is Coming (1962), The Twilight Zone: In Praise of Pip (1963), and The Twilight Zone: A Kind of a Stopwatch (1963). At the end of the parallel as well.
Due to budgetary constraints in its second season, the network decided to cut costs by shooting some episodes on videotape rather than film. Because videotape was a relatively primitive medium in the early 1960s, the editing of tape was next to impossible. Thus, each of the six episodes was "camera-cut" as in live TV, on a studio sound stage, using a total of four cameras. The requisite multicamera setup of the videotape experiment pretty much precluded location shooting, severely limiting the potential scope of the story-lines, and so the short-lived experiment was ultimately abandoned. The limitations of using videotape (e.g., it could not be edited as cleanly as film and its visual quality was poorer) led the network to switch back to film for the rest of the series, despite the greater cost. The six videotaped episodes were titled: The Twilight Zone: The Lateness of the Hour (1960); The Twilight Zone: Static (1961); The Twilight Zone: The Whole Truth (1961); The Twilight Zone: The Night of the Meek (1960); The Twilight Zone: Twenty Two (1961); The Twilight Zone: Long Distance Call (1961) and then transferred to film for broadcast, which saved the producers about $5,000 per episode.
Other than series creator, host and narrator Rod Serling, Robert McCord was the only actor to appear in all five seasons. In second place are Jack Klugman, John Anderson, Jon Lormer and Vaughn Taylor, who each appeared in four seasons. Klugman and Taylor both appeared in the first, third, fourth and fifth seasons, Anderson appeared in the first, second, fourth and fifth seasons and Lormer appeared in the each of the first four seasons.
Almost all of the men in season 1 introduced by Rod Serling's opening narration have been described as all being 36 years old.
A comic book version of this series, "hosted" by the artistic image of Rod Serling, ran until 1982--long after the real Serling had died.
All episodes in Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 5 were 30 minutes in length. Episodes in Season 4 (airing from January to May 1963) were one hour in length due to CBS' switching the show's available time-slot where only an hour could be taken.
Of the three "Twilight Zone" TV series over the years, this is the only one which does not include Rod Serling's image during the opening credits. Of course, this is the only one of the series to have the opening voice-over performed by Serling.
The Twilight Zone: The Dummy (1962) is routinely voted the scariest series episode by critics.
May 30, 2004--Ranked #8 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Top Cult Shows Ever!.
In what is generally regarded by fans as the most hated episode of the series, The Twilight Zone: Cavender Is Coming (1962), starred Jesse White and Carol Burnett in what was supposed to be a spinoff episode for a sitcom about a bumbling guardian angel. The episode was videotaped and had a laugh track.
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It was due to creator Rod Sterling's excessive smoking, that he was often seen with a cigarette during the introduction. Also, since one of the show's sponsors was the Liggett & Myers tobacco company, Serling served as an on-screen spokesman for their product, Chesterfield cigarettes, during his "tune in next week" spot at the end of each episode. The American Tobacco Co., a later sponsor, insisted that he always be seen with a cigarette, although Serling refused to plug their brand (Pall Mall) on screen.
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On 11 August 2009 the US Postal Service issued a pane of twenty 44¢ commemorative postage stamps honoring early USA television programs. A booklet with 20 picture postal cards was also issued. On the stamp honoring "The Twilight Zone" is a picture of its creator, host/narrator Rod Serling. Other shows honored in the Early TV Memories issue were: The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (1952), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955), The Dinah Shore Show (1951), Dragnet (1951), The Ed Sullivan Show (1948), The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950), Hopalong Cassidy (1952), The Honeymooners (1955), The Howdy Doody Show (1947), I Love Lucy (1951), Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1947), Lassie (1954), The Lone Ranger (1949), Perry Mason (1957), The Phil Silvers Show (1955), The Red Skelton Hour (1951), "Texaco Star Theater" (titled Texaco Star Theatre (1948), 1954-1956), The Tonight Show (which began as Tonight! (1953)), and You Bet Your Life (1950).
The Manhattan Transfer quartet released a pop vocal rendition of the series titled "Twilight Tone" (1979) using the original series intro music to open their song.
This became a landmark TV series; it was beloved by critics and the public as well. Rod Serling's follow-up series Night Gallery (1969), and other shows he did after that never had the same impact.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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