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Night Gallery
Format Horror
Created by Rod Serling
Starring Rod Serling (Host)
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 43 (98 story segments, including 3 in the pilot episode and 2 that were added for the syndication run)
Production
Running time 60 minutes (seasons 1 & 2); 30 minutes (season 3)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run December 16, 1970 – May 27, 1973

Night Gallery is Rod Serling’s follow-up series to The Twilight Zone that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1973. Serling functioned both as the on-air host of Night Gallery and as a major contributor of scripts, although he did not have the same control of content and tone as he did on The Twilight Zone. Whereas Twilight Zone featured tales of fantasy and the supernatural, Night Gallery dealt more with horror and macabre.

Contents

Synopsis

Serling appeared in an art gallery setting and introduced the macabre tales that made up each episode by unveiling paintings (by artist Tom Wright) that depicted the stories.

Night Gallery regularly presented adaptations of classic fantasy tales by authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, as well as original works, many of which were by Serling himself.

The series was introduced with a pilot TV movie that aired on November 8, 1969, and featured the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg, as well as one of the last acting performances by Joan Crawford. Unlike the series, in which the paintings merely accompanied an introduction to the upcoming story, the paintings themselves actually appeared in the three segments, serving major or minor plot functions.

Night Gallery was part of a rotating anthology series called Four-In-One. This 1970-1971 television series rotated four separate shows, also including McCloud, SFX and The Psychiatrist. Two of these, Night Gallery and McCloud were renewed for the 1971-1972 season with McCloud becoming the most popular and longest running of the four.

Night Gallery was nominated for an Emmy Award for its first-season episode “They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar” as the Outstanding Single Program on U.S. television in 1971. In 1972, the series received another nomination (Outstanding Achievement in Makeup) for the second-season episode “Pickman’s Model.”

The series attracted criticism for its use of comedic blackout sketches between the longer story segments in some episodes, and for its splintered, multiple-story format, which contributed to its uneven tone. Serling wrote many of the teleplays, including “Camera Obscura,” “The Caterpillar” (based on a short story by Oscar Cook), “Class of ’99,” “Cool Air” (based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft), “The Doll,” “Green Fingers,” “Lindemann’s Catch,” and “The Messiah on Mott Street.” Non-Serling efforts include “The Dead Man,” “I’ll Never Leave You—Ever,” “Pickman’s Model,” “A Question of Fear,” “Silent Snow, Secret Snow,” and “The Sins of the Fathers.”

By the final season, Serling, stung by criticism and ignored by the show’s executives, all but disowned the series.

In order to pump up the number of episodes that were available for syndication, the 60-minute episodes were reedited into a 30-minute time slot, with many segments either severely cut or extended by using newly shot scenes and stock footage to fill up the time. Meanwhile, episodes of a short-lived supernatural series from 1972, The Sixth Sense, were also incorporated into the syndicated version of the series, with Serling providing newly filmed introductions to those episodes.

List of episodes

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Pilot

Title Cast Director
The Cemetery Roddy McDowall, Ossie Davis, George Macready Boris Sagal
Eyes Joan Crawford, Barry Sullivan, Tom Bosley Steven Spielberg
The Escape Route Richard Kiley, Sam Jaffe Barry Shear

Season 1

Title Cast Notes
The Dead Man Carl Betz, Jeff Corey, Louise Sorel, Michael Blodgett
The Housekeeper Larry Hagman, Jeanette Nolan, Suzy Parker
Room with a View Joseph Wiseman, Diane Keaton, Angel Tompkins Teleplay by Hal Dresner from his story
The Little Black Bag Burgess Meredith, Chill Wills Teleplay by Rod Serling from the C.M. Kornbluth story
The Nature of the Enemy Joseph Campanella, James Sikking
The House Joanna Pettet, Paul Richards, Steve Franken Director: John Astin
Certain Shadows on the Wall Louis Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, Grayson Hall, Rachel Roberts
Make Me Laugh Godfrey Cambridge, Jackie Vernon, Tom Bosley, Al Lewis Written by Rod Serling; Director: Steven Spielberg
Clean Kills and Other Trophies Raymond Massey, Tom Troupe, Barry Brown, Herb Jefferson, Jr. Written by Rod Serling
Pamela’s Voice Phyllis Diller, John Astin
Lone Survivor John Colicos, Torin Thatcher, Hedley Mattingly Written by Rod Serling from the story based on Frank Tower
The Doll Shani Wallis, John Williams, Henry Silva Teleplay by Rod Serling from the short story by Algernon Blackwood
The Last Laurel Jack Cassidy, Martin E. Brooks, Martine Beswick
They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar William Windom, Diane Baker, Bert Convy

Season 2

Season 3

Syndication and DVD release

In recent years, the original, uncut version of the series has been shown on the Encore Mystery cable network, allowing fans to see the episodes in their original format for the first time in 30 years. The show is also available in some markets through the Retro Television Network.

In 2004, Universal released the Region 1 DVD collection (including the pilot film and the six episodes of the first season) of the series, plus bonus episodes from Seasons 2 and 3 as extras. On October 16, 2006, the first season (including the pilot film and two bonus episodes, one from Season 2 and one from Season 3) was released on Region 2 DVD.

In August 2008, Universal announced a November 18, 2008, release of the complete Season 2 DVD collection. Later, they announced that one story segment from Season 2, “Witches’ Feast,” would not be included, due to the fact that “Universal was not able to locate portions of the 40-year-old episode.” When and if Universal releases the third season of Night Gallery on DVD, the studio expects to release “Witches’ Feast” as part of that set.[1]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
The Complete First Season 17 August 24, 2004
Season 2 61 November 18, 2008
  • Podcast commentaries, featuring Jim Benson and Scott Skelton
  • Audio commentaries, with Guillermo Del Toro
  • Revisiting the Gallery: A Look Back
  • Art Gallery: The Paintings in “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery
  • NBC TV Promos
Season 3 20 TBA

Online viewing

NBC has added Rod Serling’s Night Gallery to its “NBC Video Rewind” lineup, as well as Hulu.

References

  1. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Night-Gallery-Season-2-Update/10580
  • Skelton, Scott and Jim Benson. Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour. Syracuse University Press: 1999. ISBN 978-0815627821

External links


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