One of television's most rightly revered series, The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959-64) stands as the role model for TV anthologies. Its trenchant sci-fi/fantasy parables explore humanity's hopes, despairs, prides and prejudices in metaphoric ways conventional drama cannot.
Creator Rod Serling wrote the majority of the scripts, and produced those of such now-legendary writers as Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont. The series featured such soon-to-be-famous actors as Robert Redford, William Shatner, Burt Reynolds, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Carol Burnett, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Peter Falk and Bill Mumy, as well as such established stars as silent-film giant Buster Keaton, Art Carney, Mickey Rooney, Ida Lupino and John Carradine.
An often worthy revival series ran on CBS from 1985-87, and in first-run syndication in 1988. Another recently ran on UPN, which reunited Bill Mumy and Cloris Leachman in a sequel to the classic TZ chiller "It's a Good Life." But it's the daring original series that shows every sign of lasting the ages as the literature that it is.
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