The life and career of the renowned television writer and creator of the classic science fiction series, "The Twilight Zone."



(as John Goff),


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Herself - Narrator
Himself (archive footage)
Mitchell Greenberg ...
Rod Serling (voice)
Himself - Director
Himself - Actor
Fielder Cook ...
Himself - Director
Herself - Actress
Himself - Actor
Carol Serling ...
Herself - Wife of Rod Serling
Del Reisman ...
Himself - Story Editor, Playhouse 90 & The Twilight Zone
Himself - Actor
Martin Manulis ...
Himself - Producer, Playhouse 90
Loring Mandel ...
Himself - Writer
Robert J. Serling ...
Himself - Brother of Rod Serling
Himself - Actor


American Masters examines the life and work of television writer and producer Rod Serling. It focuses on his life and war experience, his early writing during the Golden Age of television drama, and his work writing and producing the popular fantasy series 'The Twilight Zone'. It also examines his later television and film work on 'Seven Days in May', 'The Loner', and 'The Night Gallery'. Written by Shatterdaymorn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Official Sites:



Release Date:

29 November 1995 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Features Playhouse 90: The Velvet Alley (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

It's so very sad that overall Rod Serling thought he never really wrote anything of value!
20 October 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a somewhat sad but extremely well made episode from "American Masters". I say sad because Rod Serling was probably the greatest television writer who ever lived, yet despite six Emmy awards and fan that no other TV writer ever attained, he was incredibly insecure and unsatisfied.

The show only briefly talks about Serling's life before he went to New York City to become a writer and his writing is the main focus of the shows he wrote. The first part of this concentrates on his early work and in particular the wonderful teleplays he wrote. While it only talks about a few of these, those few are among the best television of the age and resulted in his first Emmy awards. Then the show concentrates a lot of attention on his "Twilight Zone" series. My only complaint about this is that most folks are already very familiar with these shows and I would have preferred less--not that the show wasn't brilliant. But I would have liked more about Serling the man is the final portion of the show and discusses his emotional and physical decline brought on by self-doubts and uneasiness with his ability to keep producing hits.

Apart from concentrating too much on individual episodes of "Twilight Zone", the only other complaint I had was how the show mostly was dismissive of his work on movies apart from "Seven Days in May". This seemed a bit of an overstatement and some of his 'less worthy' scrips (such as "Planet of the Apes") were still very good. Still, I appreciate how the show managed to capture the uneasiness Serling had with fame and his own insecurities. And, it really was interesting when the program talked about the network and sponsors and how they were cowardly in re-writing some of his best work. Well worth seeing.

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