CBS and Jordan Peele Developing ‘Twilight Zone’ Reboot for Streaming
CBS CEO Les Moonves announced during a Thursday earnings call that the broadcaster has recruited Get Out director Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw production company to develop a reboot of the venerable Twilight Zone horror anthology series.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s unclear whether the series will directly enter production or if Moonves was referring to a development deal. Marco Ramirez, previously of Netflix’s The Defenders and Daredevil, is said to be working on a script and is slated to run the show.
Peele, who rose to fame as a comic writer and performer on Comedy Central’s Key and Peele, took a significant swerve with the satirical horror of Get Out. The film was made for $4.5 million by increasingly respected genre producer Blumhouse, and turned into a $250 million box office juggernaut. That success was in large part thanks to cutting commentary that followed in footsteps of the original Twilight Zone, whose best episodes went beyond scary monsters to tackle real-world social issues.
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Peele’s Twilight Zone reboot would join a lineup of streaming-only series including The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight and the upcoming police comedy No Activity, which will feature revered Saturday Night Live alum Will Ferrell. While there’s no comparing All Access’s lineup with Netflix’s immense development pipeline, a focus on high-profile prestige shows, or those with a built-in audience, could be enough to give the service a foothold.
As a case in point, the debut of Discovery reportedly doubled All Access subscription revenue through its mobile app. In its Q3 earnings report this week, CBS Corp. touted growth in streaming revenues, but did not separate streaming numbers for All Access and Showtime, which CBS also owns.
Perhaps more importantly, Moonves said that the growth of streaming and “skinny” TV bundles actually increases CBS’s revenue per subscriber. According to Moonves, CBS would benefit from a “widening gap between the haves and have-nots” in a future mediascape built on streaming subscriptions.
CBS’s streaming initiative has some problems beyond revenue and content strategy, though. In late October, All Access encountered a major technical disruption that left many Trekkies struggling to watch Discovery on the service, even after paying for it.