The Twilight Zone

o'toole from moscow ccm
John Kiesewetter / WVXU

Rod Serling's 1955 comedy involving the Cincinnati Reds – broadcast only once on NBC Television – will premiere as a radio play on WVXU-FM 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.

Written during the Cold War, Serling's O'Toole From Moscow is about confusion between Russians and the Reds in which a Soviet Union embassy staffer ends up playing outfield for the Cincinnati Reds. 

Courtesy ABC

I’ve been making my list and checking it twice… And here it is: My annual Holiday Program Guide.

All the Christmas favorites are here: Charlie Brown, Rudolph, The Grinch, Frosty, White Christmas, A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Melody, A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, Polar Express, The Santa Clause and Little Drummer Boy.

Courtesy CBS

Turns out  Rod Serling was right: There is a dimension as timeless as infinity called The Twilight Zone.

Since Serling's iconic drama anthology premiered on CBS 60 years ago today – on Oct. 2, 1959 – the show has never gone off the air.

rod and anne serling
Courtesy of Anne Serling

Anne Serling, daughter of Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, will be the studio announcer for WVXU's production of her father's 1955 baseball comedy, O'Toole From Moscow.

rod serling book
Courtesy University Press of Mississippi

Though Rod Serling is most associated with his series, The Twilight Zone, he was one of the most prolific writers during what many refer to now as the original "Golden Age of Television." During his career he wrote more than 250 scripts for film and TV, and won six Emmy Awards for dramatic writing for four different series.

the twilight zone
Wikimedia Commons

Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone ran for five seasons from 1959 to 1964, but the show goes on in perpetuity in syndication -- and in our minds.

University Press of Mississippi

Before going on to national fame with The Twilight Zone, writer Rod Serling was in Cincinnati, creating local TV shows and working behind the scenes. 

University Press of Mississippi

Author Nick Parisi talks to me about Rod Serling's early 1950s TV scripts, and how they shaped his  writing for The Twilight Zone and other network TV shows, on Around Cincinnati 7 p.m. Sunday Oct. 28 on WVXU-FM and WMUB-FM.

Courtesy University Press of Mississippi

Author Nick Parisi calls it "a storm in Cincinnati."  His new comprehensive look at Rod Serling's TV scripts includes the most detailed examination I've ever seen on Serling's drama scripts for The Storm on Cincinnati's WKRC-TV in 1951-52, eight years before CBS debuted his iconic The Twilight Zone.

Provided by Mark Dawidziak

Everything he needed to know he learned from "The Twilight Zone " created by Rod Serling…. And most everything that Serling needed to know, he learned as a young writer in Southwestern Ohio.

MGM

For those of you who don't want to watch Ryan Seacrest's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" or the Bengals last game of the season, here are 91.7 viewing suggestions for the New Year's weekend.

Provided by Mark Dawidziak / CBS Television

Rod Serling's first Cincinnati TV drama, "The Keeper of the Chair," aired on WKRC-TV's "The Storm" drama series 65 years ago, on July 10, 1951.

Media Heritage

The career of Earl Hamner – the former WLW writer who created “The Waltons,” and wrote “Charlotte’s Web” and more than 100 TV scripts – will be celebrated with a documentary and discussion Monday, Dec. 7, at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington.

A new 90-minute documentary, “Earl Hamner: Storyteller” will be introduced at 7:30 p.m.by actress Mary Beth McDonough, who played Erin on “The Waltons,” a CBS family drama (1972-81) based on Hamner’s childhood in rural Virginia. 

“Storyteller” director Ray Castro, producer Tim McAbee and McDonough will answer questions about the film after the screening.