It's official: CBS All Access is boldly going to a new dimension.
The subscription video on demand service has handed out a series order for a Twilight Zone reboot from Jordan Peele (Get Out) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men). An episode count and premiere date have not yet been determined. The news comes a month after THR reported Peele and showrunner Marco Ramirez (The Defenders, Daredevil) were attached to the revival. The new series will be produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Kinberg’s Genre Films. Peele, Kinberg and Ramirez will executive produce for the series and collaborate on the premiere episode. Win Rosenfeld and Audrey Chon will also serve as executive producers.
“Too many times this year it’s felt we were living in a twilight zone, and I can’t think of a better moment to reintroduce it to modern audiences,” said Peele, who has found success and awards acclaim with the horror feature Get Out, which many have described as an African-American version of The Twilight Zone.
Added Kinberg: “The Twilight Zone was a touchstone in my life. The opportunity to continue its lineage is a dream come true, and I’m so thrilled to be doing it with Jordan, Marco and the team at CBS All Access.”
The news comes as CBS All Access has found success with its revival of Star Trek: Discovery, which the streamer said drove record subscriptions to the platform and has been renewed for a second season. The Twilight Zone joins a roster of CBS All Access scripted originals that includes dramas The Good Fight (a spinoff of The Good Wife), Kevin Williamson fairy tale anthology Tell Me a Story, Strange Angel, $1 and comedy No Activity.
“The original The Twilight Zone bridged science fiction, horror and fantasy together to explore human nature and provide social commentary in a way that audiences had never seen before,” said Julie McNamara, exec vp originals at CBS All Access. “Under the auspices of Jordan Peele, Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez, and with the creative freedom that the CBS All Access platform affords, this is an incredible opportunity to bring today’s audiences a modern reimagining of this iconic series.”
CBS last tried to revive The Twilight Zone in 2012 when the studio teamed with X-Men's Bryan Singer to develop, exec produce and potentially direct a new version of the anthology. The network revived the series in the 1980s — it ran for three seasons and again in 2002 for a season on UPN with host Forest Whitaker. The franchise has also been licensed to a new stage play set to premiere in December at the Almeida Theatre in London and run through January. The original series won three Emmys during its 156-episode run and explored topics including humanity's hopes, despairs, prides and prejudices.
The Twilight Zone revival arrives as individual episodic anthologies have become increasingly popular following shows like Netflix's Black Mirror, HBO's Room 104 and TBS' The Guest Book. In a crowded landscape of nearly 500 scripted shows, individual episodic anthologies are easier to consume.
Meanwhile, reboots and revivals continue to be in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming platforms look for proved and easy-to-market IP in a bid to cut through the cluttered landscape. Key to the reboots is having the original producers attached, which would be CBS Television Studios in the case of The Twilight Zone.
Peele, whose credits include Netflix's Big Mouth, Comedy Central's Key & Peele and TBS' The Last OG, as well as the feature Keanu, is repped by CAA, Principato-Young and Morris Yorn. Ramirez is repped by UTA.