In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the classic TV series, The Twilight Zone, several guests popped in to chat with George about the lasting impact of the show and its creator, Rod Serling. Author Marc Zicree, who appeared for the entire first half of the program, credited the series and Serling for providing him with a model for working in the entertainment industry. Zicree said the show survives to this day, even if one knows the trick endings, because the writing was truthful.
Anne Serling, daughter of Rod, said Twilight Zone continues to be an enduringly popular phenomenon because her father focused on the human condition. Ann talked about her new memoir, Growing Up With The Man Behind The Twilight Zone, and reminisced about watching her first episode of show, "Nightmare At 20000 Feet," which starred William Shatner as a very nervous flyer with a special window seat.
George had a chance to sit down with Shatner recently, and played part of that interview in the first half-hour of the program. The famous Star Trek actor talked about his early work on Twilight Zone, as well as announced his upcoming appearance at Big Apple Comic Con.
Also appearing in the first hour, Emmy Award-winning writer/producer Mark Olshaker, who briefly talked about his friendship with Serling, and television writer Earl Hamner Jr., who acknowledged Serling as the person who gave him his big writing break in Hollywood. Hamner went on to write several episodes of Twilight Zone, including "The Hunt" and "Jess-Belle," as well as work on the long-running CBS series The Waltons.
Actor/musician Bill Mumy, best known for his role as Will Robinson on Lost in Space, joined George and Zicree in the second hour to talk about his work on Twilight Zone. Mumy starred in three episodes of the original series, including "It's a Good Life", about an all-powerful boy with the ability to 'wish' people away (into the cornfield).
The remainder of the show featured Open Lines with a special line for bizarre stories.
The Twilight Zone premiered on CBS 50 years ago today. The first episode, "Where Is Everybody?", was written by series creator Rod Serling and starred Earl Holliman as a man who appears to be the only living inhabitant of an strangely deserted town.
That episode and many others, including classics "The Invaders", "To Serve Man", and "Time Enough At Last", with Burgess Meredith as a bookworm in search of more time to read, can be viewed in full at CBS.com.
Bumper music from Friday October 02, 2009