Sunday, March 20, 2011

TZ Repeat Report: Déjà View (156th Post, and a Contest!)

Hey! This is my 156th post. To the casual outsider, that number probably seems completely random. However, true fans of The Twilight Zone should know why that number is significant. Hey! Sounds like a perfect excuse for a giveaway. The first person to email me with the reason why 156 is an important Twilight Zone number will get my personal copy of Twilight Zone: The Movie on DVD (it's opened, but in perfect condition). Hit me up at and prove your TZ prowess. No Googling! Now, on with the blog...

Back in the 60’s, TV shows typically produced so many episodes per season that they couldn’t repeat them all during the summer before the next season started in the fall. The Twilight Zone was no exception. However, the show’s second season was short by several episodes (29 versus season one’s 36), due primarily to budget clampdowns by CBS. To pad out the season, several s1 episodes were rebroadcast outside the normal summer repeat season. This means s1 repeats were broadcast during the summer after s1, sprinkled throughout s2 and, oddly enough, during the summer after s2 ended. All in all, only 5 season one episodes went unrepeated. Happily, “Mr. Bevis” was one of them. Sadly, the other 4 were great episodes: “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine,” “Judgment Night,” “What You Need,” and… a personal favorite, “Long Live Walter Jameson.”

Consequently, not a single s2 episode would be repeated until the summer of 1962 (after s3 had finished its run), and even then a scant 13 episodes --- one third of the total season --- were repeated (a 14th episode shown during the summer of 1962 was “People Are Alike all Over”--- from s1!).

Meanwhile, a whopping 16 s2 episodes weren’t repeated (happily, “Mr. Dingle, the Strong” was among them). But that’s nothing compared to the fate of s3…. NONE of its 37 episodes were ever repeated on network television! The reasons for this are complex, and will be addressed when we finish s3… in June of next year. Patience, grasshopper.

Now, my original plan was to spotlight each episode’s repeat individually, but I found that I often didn’t have anything new to say the second time around (see here). Still, in the interest of completeness, I’d prefer to address them on some level; therefore, I’ve decided to spotlight them in batches. I’ve already covered the repeats up until the end of summer 1961 (collected under the tag “repeat promos” in the list at right), so here now are the repeats that occurred during the course of s2:

12/30/1960 “A Stop at Willoughby” (orig. broadcast 5/06/1960)

02/17/1961 “A Passage for Trumpet” (orig. broadcast 5/20/1960)

03/17/1961 “The After Hours” (orig. broadcast 6/10/1960)

04/14/1961 “The Mighty Casey” (orig. broadcast 6/17/1960)

From here, we won’t see any more repeats until s2 ends and the summer rerun season kicks in on 6/09. At that point, we’ll get 14 weeks of repeats (again, all from s1), followed by the premiere of s3 on 9/15. I might split up the summer 1961 repeats into two batches… I dunno yet.

The plethora of s1 repeats throughout the first three years of the show is actually quite convenient for me. S1 wasn’t available on blu-ray during my 50th anniversary viewings (it was released this last September, just before s2 kicked off), so I was forced to watch each episode on DVD in standard definition. The repeats give me the perfect excuse to watch the episodes again in high definition without deviating from the schedule. It’s almost too perfect. Hmmmm…. Serling and company couldn’t possibly have foreseen my blog project… right? Sounds crazy… but hey, stranger things have happened in The Twilight Zone.

1 comment:

Joel Benedict Henderson said...

I actually know the answer, but I don't need a copy of TZ The Movie.