The Twilight Zone : Why did the show end so soon?

Why did the show end so soon?

only lasted 5 seasons when I think it could have done 5 seasons more.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Well, the story is complicated, but The Twilight Zone came close to cancellation at least one other time prior to the final axe-fall in 1964. For a good answer to your question (and many others) see http://www.twilightzone.org/html/tzatv_fa.html

Re: Why did the show end so soon?


only lasted 5 seasons when I think it could have done 5 seasons more.


"Only" five seasons?
Five years makes for an average run of a successful TV show, sitcom or drama.

The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Tyler Moore, The Bob Newhart Show, etc., all ran about five or so seasons. The latter 2 ended their runs early (they weren't canceled) because the creators didn't want the shows to decline by running out of gags, ideas, etc.

Watch the last 3 or so seasons of MASH, clearly a classic TV show.
Most of the episodes after Radar left, the ones in the early 1980s, while clearly viewable, weren't much to write home about
Trite and predictable scripts (ala Klinger's camera) or poorly developed political messages ("all war is bad" etc.).
Though it was good to watch the actors, clearly, the show had run its course.

I too wish the TZ (and many other shows) had run longer but reading the link someone posted and all the network interference in the show, it's a wonder the show lasted as long as it did.
Serling was tired of it as well and the show went through many producers.

The way CBS treated this gem of a drama is much like how the govt. mistreats Amtrak. Always cutting its budget while not cutting funding for its competitors: highways and airport funding... By constructing highways and airports, govt. funding built the automobile and aviation industries...


Re: Why did the show end so soon?

"The Honeymooners" Classic 39 episodes is a WOW in television history. They resufaced in the mid-1970s and enjoy major cult status. Now, that's something!

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Jackie Gleason stopped production on The Honeymooners because The Perry Como Show was slaughtering them in the ratings, believe it or not.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

I watched "The Jackie Gleason Show" in the 1960s. It was okay, but not as good as "The Honeymooners" Classic 39. Repeats of "The Honeymooners" in the mid-1970s catapulted the series into the solidified cult status it's still enjoying today.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Reruns are a funny thing. The Honeymooners, Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, etc. had very short runs on the network, but have lived on in reruns for half a century or longer. Ozzie and Harriet ran for 15 years and you haven't seen that show regularly in reruns since the early 1970's.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Yes, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" did run for years...and years..and years. However, it hasn't enjoyed the rerun success of the shows you've mentioned. Odd that it's a show which ran much longer than another family-oriented show "Father Knows Best", yet hasn't enjoyed the same rerun success.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Don't see what this has to do with The Twilight Zone.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Comparing the Twilight Zone to those sitcoms is apples and oranges. Each episode of TZ was a separate and complete story, so it wouldn't run its course in the same way that a sitcom gets old and tired. It could have gone on as long as there were good, imaginative writers.

I guess it's like looking at clouds. You see one thing and I see another. Peace.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

"Friends" is a sitcom that ran for 10 seasons before it got old and tired. (Many think it could have gone on for even more seasons.)

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Yeah but when you start out with a pile of shit, it can't really get stinkier.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Sophia you people are just silly.


5 years is fine and most show last roughly 5 years give or take so be quiet.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

I wish the Zone could have run forever,--in its original format--but it did pretty well given the kind of show it was. Never a ratings winner, it had a cult following even when it was still on the air; and Rod Serling was a "prestige" name. I think it's a miracle that it lasted as long as it did. The best one could wish for, realistically, would be two more black and white seasons, till prime time well all color in 1966. After that, I'd rather not see the show go color, die the cruel death of a Fugitive or Combat!. While many people have issues with the last season, not its best, I admit, but not a train wreck, either, I think it rather went out a winner.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

One problem is that they were working on a stringent budget which put a burden on the inhouse writers to come up with story ideas and scripts, when there was a wealth of great SF stories available by the giants of the field (Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, et al), the rights to which could have been obtained if CBS loosened the purse strings a bit. In the 80s version they did adapt Clarke's The Star as the Xmas episode. And Bradbury sold some of his stories as an anthology series on HBO.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?


The best one could wish for, realistically, would be two more black and white seasons, till prime time well all color in 1966.

Can you visualize viewing TZ in COLOR?
Hard to comprehend.
Almost like seeing Laurel & Hardy, The Marx Bros., Three Stooges, I Love Lucy, et. al., in color....

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Patty Duke said in her autobiography "Call Me Anna" that "The Patty Duke Show" was cancelled after its 1966 season because the network was too cheap to switch to color. Those meanies!

I've seen Laurel and Hardy's "March of the Wooden Soldiers" in color. It's a rare case of me accepting colorization. The film is excellent in black and white. But due to its fantasy element, the film was screaming for color (à la "The Wizard of Oz").

However, "March of the Wooden Soldiers" was made during the height of the Great Depression and color was out of the question because of its extreme expense. I am indeed grateful they haven't colorized "The Twilight Zone" episodes.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?


I am indeed grateful they haven't colorized "The Twilight Zone" episodes.

I don't want the series to be colorized either, but it's an interesting thought to have one season shot in true color.
I'm not one of those that believes B&W productions must be "colorized" to gain viewers.
B&W is its own art form that is effectively used in productions such as TZ, Perry Mason, etc.

While color is nice, it ain't everything.
B&W provides an element of fiction or something "otherworldy."
If the TZ was in color, it might destroy much of the fantasy or unrealistic elements and more resemble the everyday parts of life.

Black & White To Color

I don't remember hearing that about Patty Duke's show but I wouldn't be surprised. ABC was going all color anyway for the next season, but maybe so. I thought it was filmed in New York and that that's why they cancelled it,--maybe astronomically expensive at the time for color--but when I just looked it up, no. It was made in California. In the case of Dick Van Dyke's show it was a general agreement among everyone involved that it was as good a time as any to call it quits. I think it's just as well for both shows, as color changed the nature of television forever, and while there would still be sitcoms, about families and people in showbiz, and doctor-detective-lawyer shows, the styles would be very different. Duke and Van Dyke belonged to black and white, as did The Twilight Zone and many other shows that went off the air around that time.

Re: Black & White To Color

telegonus, the first two seasons of "The Patty Duke Show" were shot in a New York studio and sometimes right on location in Brooklyn Heights; the exterior of the Brooklyn Heights house used for the Lane's house and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, itself, such as in Season One's episode "How to Be Popular". For the third season, the cast moved to California and it was shot there on new sets, and locations doubling as Brooklyn Heights.

At the end of 1966, ABC wanted all of its shows to switch to color. However, United Artists wanted more money for this process as scenes in this show had to be filmed twice. Example: Patty would play Patty on the right side of the screen and her stand-in would play Cathy on the left. Then Patty would play Cathy on the left side of the screen and her stand-in would play Patty on the right. After which, a split screen was used to splice the Patty and Cathy images together (sans stand-in). Much too costly for color.

Re: Black & White To Color

Why would a sitcom being produced in NY be any reason why they'd cancel a show?

Plus I doubt either shows would of been bad in color and there were shows at that time that started in B&W that went color with no problems at all.

Re: Black & White To Color

"The Patty Duke Show" was only produced in New York for its first two seasons. Like I've said, for its third and final season it was produced in California.

No one is saying the show would have been bad in color. "The Patty Duke Show" was produced by Chrislaw Productions, Inc. and United Artists Television, Inc.

Chrislaw Productions, Inc. was actor Peter Lawford's production company. He named it after his son Christopher Lawford. "Chris" for "Christopher" and "law" for "Lawford". Hence, Chrislaw Productions, Inc.

At the end of 1966, ABC did not want to kick in a part of the money to produce "The Patty Duke Show" in color due to the expense of scenes having to be filmed twice for the special effects identical cousins theme. More costly!

I was a devout watcher of "The Patty Duke Show" in the 1960s. I remember reading about its cancellation. Also, Patty spoke about it somewhat in her autobiography "Call Me Anna". She gave nice interviews in the DVD extras.

Re: Black & White To Color

Funny, this week CBS ran a colorized version of the Dick Van Dyke show. It was, odd.

Re: Black & White To Color

It really was! The thing that made it interesting (at least for my own nickel) was seeing how the technique has improved since the days of "Technicolor Ted" Turner.

Re: Black & White To Color

Oh, "Technicolor" Ted Turner. I saw his colorized version of "The Postman Always Rings Rwice" (1946) in the late 1980s. It was okay as a novelty. I also saw a colorization of "Topper Returns" (1940) around the same time. Again, okay as a novelty. "March of the Wooden Soldiers" (1934) is truly very nice in color.

I didn't know they colorized "The Dick Van Dyke" show. I don't ever want to see "I Love Lucy", "The Honeymooners", "The Twilight Zone", etc in color. For youngsters who don't like black and white...start liking it! A good part of film and TV history is in black and white. And it just needs to stay that way!

Re: Black & White To Color

The only good part Dr. Julia is that apparently they've only done colorization on two of the Van Dyke Show episodes - probably as relatively cheap holiday filler.

I've seen "I Love Lucy" in color - didn't help the show worth a damn.

Reiner experimented with color while the show was still running (about 1963 I think) and actually did test shots of "It May Look Like A Walnut." Those are pretty neat, I've gotta say - if only because it was something they tried back then but dropped.

The result isn't that bad, as you can see at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfW3Hurm6tg

Re: Black & White To Color

Thanks for posting the link. It does look very good. I feel different about a color version of the Dick Van Dyke Show than I do about a color version of the Twilight Zone. Color really makes it seem fresher and funnier.

Color would add nothing to the Twilight Zone.

___________________________________
Never say never...

Re: Black & White To Color

I am surprised at all the negative criticism of color. I too used to be against colorization, but if done accurately, color is simply a more accurate representation of reality than B&W. I think people can get very acclimatized to the "mood" that B&W can create, and they may then find that color is a shock.

Re: Black & White To Color

Color, itself, in film is a beautiful thing ("The Wizard of Oz", "Singin' in the Rain", and so on). However, it's the artificiality of colorized films and TV series that is annoying. It just doesn't look natural and credible. The color used in filming the color episodes of "Adventures of Superman" is fine because a color process was used. Colorization is a fake color process which is normally instantaneously detectable and a real letdown.

Re: Black & White To Color

Thanks for posting the link, doug65. I remember "It May Look Like A Walnut" from the 1960s. It's my favorite and, in my opinion, the most memorable episode. The clip looks colorized though. It doesn't have a real color look to it like the color episodes of "Adventures of Superman" have. A colorized clip?

There's really no need to colorize vintage films (I'm okay with "March of the Wooden Soldiers"). It's annoying hearing kids say they won't watch black and white films and TV series. They can't see "I Love Lucy" because it's in black and white? What about precious silent films? Colorization for them? No way!

Re: Black & White To Color

What you're seeing in that clip, DrJulia, isn't “colorization” at all, but an example of what The Dick Van Dyke Show would have looked like had it been shot and processed on color film in 1962-’63. Reiner considered (and apparently experimented with) taking the show to color during that timeframe. However, owing to increased production costs, the idea was scrapped.

As for the "clippish" nature of the artifact, you'd have to raise that issue with the folks at Image Entertainment who put it out there to begin with.

As for your general view, I couldn't agree more. If it ain't in color, leave it alone. It's just that simple.




Re: Black & White To Color

doug65, unfortunately, the YouTube link you'd posted isn't working at the moment. When I looked at it earlier today, the color looked so...well, fake. It was very unnatural looking and had the look of colorization to it. You've said it isn't a colorization, but then said it's what the show would have looked like had it been shot and processed on color film. That's a contradiction (possibly of Image Entertainment's).

I've seen the two-color Technicolor sequence in "The Phantom of the Opera" (1925) many times. I remember the days when seeing the two-color Technicolor version of "Doctor X" (1932) was a mere dream as local TV showed the black and white print only. And, seeing the two-color Technicolor (or any extant black and white) print of "Mystery of the Wax Museum" (1933) seemed impossible since it was considered a lost film. Of course, three-color Technicolor gave us vivid colors for "Gone with the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz"; a vast improvement over the pastel (and charming) two-color Technicolor process.

However, in the 1940s cheaper forms of color became available to studios. When TV's "Adventures of Superman" switched to color in the 1950s it didn't look colorized. Neither did 1960s shows such as "Petticoat Junction", "Green Acres" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" when they switched to color. We had a home movie camera and used Kodak film (among other film) during the 1950s and 1960s. Our home movies from the days before, during and after this Dick Van Dyke "experiment" don't look colorized.

When I saw "The Dick Van Dyke Show" clip on YouTube today...it read colorization to me. The colors just didn't look natural. I've seen many colorized films. Are the folks at Image Entertainment trying to hoodwink the credulous? I don't like naysaying, but I'd like to see some valid proof (literature) about this experiment. Now, Dick's "Bye Bye Birdie" was in color. What I saw of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" today on YouTube was the most bizarre-looking color film I've ever seen (if, indeed, it was actually shot on a color film in the first place). Curious indeed...


Re: Black & White To Color

You know, I’ve gotten a distinct feeling as these discussions have progressed that there would come a point at which I’d have to get off the proverbial bus so to speak – and I’m honestly there. As I’ve said time and time again, I despise “colorization.” Having said that I’m more than willing to accept the fact that some genuine color footage of shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show might exist somewhere – particularly since we know that Reiner himself considered shooting in color as early as 1963. He reiterated that fact in a recent article at http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-st-dick-van-dyke-show-colorized-20161207-story.html and explained why he chose not to – see Paragraph 4. (Both of his stated reasons make perfect sense but especially the one that mentions the additional $7,000 per episode the change would have required.)

There’s really nothing much more I can say here I don’t think.

Re: Black & White To Color

The article in the Los Angeles Times link that you posted says that Carl Reiner passed on a chance to film the show in color due to the additional $7,000 per episode. Those pushing for the show's colorization, Stanton Rutlidge and Paul Brownstein, used Carl Reiner's color still photos of the show's set at Desilu Studios. They also searched through old magazine ads for proper mid 20th-century color schemes for clothes and furnishings. The Los Angeles Times article doesn't say that a single episode of the show was ever filmed in color. If there is some extant genuine color footage of the show, why not use it for reference instead of using color still photos and old magazines? Seemingly, there isn't even any extant color home movie footage available. I know in the bonuses of my "Father Knows Best" DVDs there is color home movie footage on the set because Robert Young was a fanatic at taking home movies.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Can you visualize viewing TZ in COLOR?

I'm a little surprised nobody has colorized it, given its cult status these days. Maybe it's a rights issue.

The worst thing that ever happened to the movies was when some pretentious twit decided they should be art.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

It ran 5 years telegonus.

What more do you want.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Because it was the TV show that everyone needed but not the one they deserved.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

Sounds like Philosophy 337 from this angle – you know, like a cross between “Why do people climb Mount Everest?” and “Why are we here?” Hip boot territory for sure. Luckily mine are in the shop.

Re: Why did the show end so soon?


Because it was the TV show that everyone needed but not the one they deserved.
It was a joke paraphrasing something from from Batman- The Dark Knight

James Gordon Jr.: Batman? Batman! Why's he running dad?
Lt. James Gordon: Because we have to chase him.
Cop: Okay we're going in! Go, go! Move!
James Gordon Jr.: He didn't do anything wrong.
Lt. James Gordon: Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.
___________________________________
Never say never...

Re: Why did the show end so soon?

The show was running out of steam by the final season. If we're honest about it, the quality was always uneven, but it was especially so in season 5.

The worst thing that ever happened to the movies was when some pretentious twit decided they should be art.
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