Is Jordan Peele’s hot streak going to continue on in TV mode? His production of The Twilight Zone premiers tonight, with the first two episodes “The Comedian” and “Terror at 30,000 Feet.”
If you subscribe to the CBS All Access streaming platform, which for yours truly gives me a second reason (the first being Star Trek Discovery) to subscribe. I thought cutting the cable was supposed to make things easier!
Peele has also brought on some very talented directors, including Simon Kinberg (Producer of the Martian, Star Wars Clone Wars, Logan and Deadpool) and Anna Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night). And, my guess is that this will be the breeding ground for future feature film directors working with Peele.
Peele narrates the show, harkening back to Alfred Hitchcock, Alastair Cooke, or more to the point… Rod Serling. Expect each episode to feature recognizable Hollywood stars. The acting cast is chock full of a diverse array of hot talent, including Kumail Nanjiani, Steven Yeun, Tracy Morgan, Sanaa Lathan, Taissa Farmiga, Chris O’Dowd, John Cho, Ginnifer Goodwin, Seth Rogen, and Zazie Beetz. CBS is showing a real commitment to high production value, super smart genre television.
I mean, c’mon, does it get to be a nerdier, smarter pair of shows that The Twilight Zone and Star Trek? It will be curious to know how long Peele remains associated, and to what degree with this production. After the success of Us, which just passed the $174 million marker in two weeks, he will be a director in huge demand.
Expect a mix of retold Twilight Zone Originals and new material. Also expect that there will be a greater level of edginess that modern society allows for… so more violence and sex content than you could have gotten away with back in the early 60’s. The flexibility of the streaming service also allows for a variation in run times, allowing the directors to let the time serve the story rather than the other way around.
Something else that’s cool is that CBS also has all of the original series available on their All Access platform, so you can compare and contrast the original to the new production. I will be particularly interested in comparing “Terror at 30,000 feet”, with Adam Scott now playing the nervous airline passenger, and compare it to William Shatner’s original take, as well as John Lithgow’s version that was done for the movie. (Note they added 10,000 feet to the altitude since the original.)
As this is streaming cpntent, there will be no need to Set your DVR’s, but you will need a paid subscription. The rest of the fans will have to live vicariously through those who have the service, as CBS has been very tight with their properties (it would be foolish for them not to do so… I have no desire to see reruns of Big Bang Theory or Matlock.) Hopefully this will make for a trend in smart genre offerings from the eyeball network.