Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Twenty-one years after its network cancellation, Rod Serling's classic sci-fi/fantasy anthology The Twilight Zone was revived by CBS -- minus Serling, who had passed away in 1975. Unlike the black-and-white half-hour original, the new Twilight Zone was seen in full color in a 60-minute weekly slot. Also unlike the first version, which featured a single story per episode, the remake generally offered from two to three different playlets per program. Finally, whereas Rod Serling had appeared on-camera to host the old series, the new series had no "host," merely an off-camera narrator, actor Charles Aidman; and as for the series' "classic" theme song, it was folded into a new opening theme, performed by The Grateful Dead. Debuting September 22, 1985, the new Twilight Zone initially boasted Harlan Ellison as its creative consultant (Ellison, in fact, wrote the opener, "Shatterday);" unfortunately, Ellison angrily left the series early on, citing network interference in the Christmas episode. During its second season, Twilight Zone tinkered with its length and format, with three half-hour episodes, each containing a single story, broadcast in December of 1986. After a brief hiatus, the series returned to its one-hour, multi-story format in February of 1987, retaining this format until CBS canceled the series on July 17 of that same year. In the fall of 1988, Twilight Zone resurfaced in off-network syndication, once again reduced to a weekly half-hour. Though many of the syndicated episodes were abridged versions of network originals, 35 new episodes were filmed inexpensively in Canada. During its syndicated run, Twilight Zone was narrated by Robin Ward, whose voice was also dubbed over the network reruns.