Saturday, July 4, 2009
Before they make their silly and unwelcome name change to SyFy in the near future, you can still enjoy the SciFi Channel today as it presents its 4th of July Twilight Zone Marathon. Long a staple of the network, however they by no means invented the convention of a T Zone marathon. It was a longstanding tradition to hold Twilight Zone-athons on many of the local stations running the show back in the day.
My old station KTLA was famous for running a most excellent Thanksgiving Day festival, and on other holidays also. Twilight Zone was a particularly perfect show for a marathon -- ideal genre, well-told tales, the iconic presence of Rod Serling, complete baby-boomer cultural immersion, lots of episodes, and familiar guest stars who could be promoted. Wonderful!
We did not originate it, however; T Zone was syndicated all over, and the marathon idea sprang up on the East Coast, in Boston, I believe first, though possibly in a different market. I know that we had the show, and in my policy of always giving credit where it's due, our then-Program Director Brooke Spectorsky who had come from WSB (I think...) had done one there and brought the notion to KTLA. We ran with it and it became a beloved tradition.
And so it goes. Nothing is new in television, believe me!
(Sci Fi's marathon actually started yesterday with eps from the 1980's Twilight Zone redo series, but continues today with the originals.)