The Twilight Zone executive producer looks back on the experience of making the UPN series
Created by Rod Serling, the TV series The Twilight Zone really rocked its viewers during its first five seasons from 1959 to 1964, which is why we keep seeing new versions of it. There was Twilight Zone: The Movie back in 1983, a revival series that ran for three seasons in the '80s, the recent revival with Jordan Peele that lasted two seasons, and more. Including a year-long run on the UPN network in 2002-'03. Ira Behr was executive producer at UPN Twilight Zonehosted by Forest Whitaker and during a recent interview with Syfy wire He revealed that working on the 43 episodes of the series wasn't a very good experience.
Behr said: "When they offered it to me, I just thought, 'This is it The Twilight Zone!' I like Twilight Zone!' I'm always looking for something new, so an anthology sounded good. And it went downhill from there."
Things quickly went downhill as network executives dismissed the idea that Behr and his associates wanted to bring to screens as the first installment of this new version of The Twilight Zone, a story about a genetically engineered fetus who plots to kill its parents. "The answer was: "No! We're not doing this episode. It worries us.” It is the damn thing Twilight Zone, it should worry you. And from there it got a little bit of hell getting behind stories that were Twilight Zone-specifically after them. And since they've been throwing out stories left and right, you're trying to find time to produce a show and produce scripts. Anthologies don't need all these chefs. … After they put us in a hole so deep we couldn't see the daylight, they said, 'Oh, now we're going to help you! (Remake of the original Twilight Zone Consequence) 'eye of the beholder.' [We said:] "We do not want to"eye of the beholder.' [And they said:] '(remake of the original episode) The monsters are due on Maple Street!' [We said:] "We don't want that." [And they said:] "No, you have to, because that's what you need and we're making your life easier.""
Behr admitted some good episodes came out of the fight, and they were able to get a lot of good actors to appear on the show. Although there was a lot of stress and frustration, he still wanted to do another season. "I asked the staff, I said, 'Look, if we come back by a miracle, is anyone willing to do this a second time?' And every one of them said, 'Yes.' Despite all the shit that happened, it was like, 'No, we survived. The second season could be better. Maybe they'll leave us alone. It still is The Twilight Zone. It's still a chance to do something different each week. It's still a challenge.'"
But they didn't get the chance. That was the end for her version of The Twilight Zoneand UPN ceased airing just three years later.
Are you a fan of the 2002 – '03 season of The Twilight Zone? Share your thoughts on this by leaving a comment below. I have to admit I haven't watched any episodes of the UPN run.
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