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Contributed by Melissa Gattine on 12/01/2009
Assistant Professor Ari Kissiloff of the Department of Strategic Communication presented a multimedia slideshow, “Referencing The Twilight Zone: Popular Media Pays Homage to Rod Serling” at the 50th Anniversary Rod Serling conference in October.
The presentation explored how “The Twilight Zone” has been referenced, mimicked, and satirized, in print, television, and film media – hundreds of times since the show first aired in 1959.
Major trends explored in the presentation included an exploration into the nature of these references, and what they say about the importance of this TV show - now 50 years old.
The research indicates that over time, even more shows are using references to The Twilight Zone characters, situations, storylines, and music – when trying in shorthand to efficiently communicate the concept that something is out of the ordinary. References have been found in media as diverse and contrasting as Starsky and Hutch, Lost, Gilmore Girls, Felicity, Futurama, Family Guy, The River Wild, The X-Files, and Remington Steele.
The presentation includes clips from over one hundred print media, television shows, and movies. Material from the presentation will be included in the Rod Serling Archives at Ithaca College, currently housed in the Gannett Center. The semi-annual Rod Serling Conference is hosted by Ithaca College.