Rod Serling’s ‘Night Gallery’ Is Getting a TV Reboot and John Noble Should Host

Night GalleryOne of the scariest shows from my childhood is getting a reboot. “Night Gallery,” which aired on NBC from 1970 to 1973, featured frightening stories of the macabre. For me, I think it was scarier than “The Twilight Zone” because it seemed like the things on “Night Gallery” could really happen. They seemed closer to home, even if they were supernatural in nature.

In fact, Rod Serling, who gained fame on “The Twilight Zone,” served as on-air host of “Night Gallery” and also wrote a lot of the scripts. However, he didn’t have the same control over content and tone as he did on “The Twilight Zone.”

While both shows shared stories of dark fantasy, much of “The Twilight Zone” was science fiction, and “Night Gallery” was more horror and supernatural. Thus – to me – scarier.

One episode that always sticks in my mind is “Certain Shadows On the Wall,” which aired on Dec. 30, 1970. It was written by Serling, directed by Jeff Corey and starred Louis Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, Grayson Hall and Rachel Roberts. It was also based on the short story “The Shadows on the Wall” by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman.

The story chronicled the lingering shadow of a dead woman that haunted her murderous brother, and the image of the shadow on that staircase still haunts me today. I’m sure deep down in my psyche, I still look for that shadow when I’m going up or down stairs.

Serling appeared in an art gallery setting and introduced the tales in each episode by unveiling paintings (by artist Thomas J. Wright) that depicted the stories. The paintings themselves actually appeared in the three segments, serving major or minor plot functions.

Serling’s intro usually was, “Good evening, and welcome to a private showing of three paintings, displayed here for the first time. Each is a collector’s item in its own way – not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a canvas, suspends in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare.”

Yes, a nightmare. My nightmares!

“Night Gallery” often 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 Nov. 8, 1969, and featured the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg, as well as one of the last acting performances by Joan Crawford.

“Night Gallery” was initially part of a rotating anthology – or wheel series – called Four in One. The series ran from 1970 to 1970 and rotated four separate shows, including “McCloud,” “SFX (San Francisco International Airport)” (I believe this was featured on an episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000”) and “The Psychiatrist.”

Two of these, “Night Gallery” and “McCloud” were renewed for the 1971–72 season, with “McCloud” becoming the most popular and longest running of the four.

While checking out J. Michael Straczynski’s IMDB profile for the “Sense8” story I just posted, I noticed that he’s helming a reboot of “Night Gallery,” which is currently in pre-production, but scheduled for a 2015 release. It’s listed as a TV Miniseries, and I believe scheduled to air on the SyFy Channel (?), but correct me if you’ve heard differently.

As for a host, there are lots of possibilities, but my pick is John Noble. We haven’t seen much of him since “Fringe” ended, and I so miss him on my screen. Plus, he has just the right tone to do justice to “Night Gallery.”

Were you a fan of “Night Gallery”? Got a favorite episode that still haunts you? Who do you think would be a good host for the reboot? Share in the comments below!


16 responses to “Rod Serling’s ‘Night Gallery’ Is Getting a TV Reboot and John Noble Should Host”

  1. Darryl Dawson Avatar

    I can say with certainty that Night Gallery was my chief influence in becoming a horror writer. I remember watching the syndicated reruns on KCOP in L.A. when I was a kid. I loved the atmosphere of the show, especially the way the paintings and Rod’s intros set the mood of each story. The story that stuck with me the most was “The Flip-Side of Satan” with Arte Johnson as a slimy disc jockey working his first (and last) gig at a bizarre radio station. If NG is being re-booted I’m all in, as long as they don’t make the mistake of dabbling in the kind of screwball comedy that weakened the original. I nominate Tony Todd to be the new host!

    1. Terry Washington Avatar
      Terry Washington

      Night Gallery not only sparked an interest in the dark fantasy/macabre genre that has inspired me to become an artist but to write my first novel(now sadly as yet unpublished) “The House That Drove Men Mad”.
      It’s kind of hard to identify which is my favourite episode of “Night Gallery” but!The Messiah On Mott” Street “Pickman’s Model” “Class of 1999″ Cool Air” “The Funeral” and “The Devil Is Not Mocked” “You Can’t Get Good Help Like That ANymore” must rank as my all time favourites. My only question is:who will do the paintings that so fascinated me as a child!

  2. George Schmidt Avatar
    George Schmidt

    As a fan of Rod Serling – who was a genius and a pioneer not only in TV but in writing and being a mensch – I am intrigued and wouldn’t be terribly put off – Noble is indeed worthy to be his proxy. But like all reboots the rabid fans, sloppy productions and ill-fitting CGI etc. often botch the ‘written word’ overall.
    I hope they get a runner not unlike Vince Gilligan and/or Chris Carter (I realize both are super busy – Gilligan has his plate full w/2 shows (unless I missed the possible on-the-bubble cancellation of BATTLE CREEK and of course BETTER CALL SAUL & Carter’s revamp return w/THE XFILES (sadly Gilligan again no redux)
    Everytime I hear a reboot of something from my adolescence/childhood like this or the ill-fated NIGHT STALKER/KOLCHAK series recently (and even the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton take on it in the works) I get a vague giddy -oh-no-maybe-they-really-shouldn’t feeling not unlike if your divorced parents decided after your adulthood to remarry.

    We’ll see; thanks for posting!

  3. gary clevenger Avatar
    gary clevenger

    There will never be another Rod Serling , The head honchos behind the reboot must wisely choose a host that evokes a similar presence and style to our beloved Rod Serling , The wrong choice of a host regardless of how well the stories are written and adapted for television is a receipe for disaster ( IMO ) If the head honchos at SyFy are smart they will not waste any time bringing Scott Skelton and Jim Benson on board as creative directors for the show !!!

    1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      Thanks for the note, Gary! Any ideas on who you’d like to see as host for this new version?

    2. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      Agree on bringing Scott Skelton and Jim Benson onboard as creative directors or consultants. Here’s the link to their book:

  4. gary clevenger Avatar
    gary clevenger

    Demian Bechir should be hired as host.
    simply because of his uncanny resemblance to Rod.

    1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      Got your email with Demian’s pic, and he really does look like Serling. Wish I could attach that pic in the comments (will have to figure that out), but here he is in “A Better Life”:

  5. Neal Martin Avatar

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ve never seen NightGallery (few years before my time lol), but it sounds awesome. I used to love the Outer Limits and the Twilight Zone. Looking forward to seeing what this reboot is like.

  6. Sam Avatar

    No offense but what worked for Twilight Zone simply won’t work for Night Gallery. I’m not referring to the new host btw, but simply the re-launch of Night Gallery. I have a feeling it will end before it begins. No ‘reboot’ is ever going to compare or replace the original Night Gallery. This era is the WRONG era for a classic gem like that. It’d be like making Leave It Beaver in 2015. Simply won’t work and wasn’t meant to. The only show that came remotely close to the genius of the original Night Gallery was the original series ‘Beyond Belief.’

  7. Wayne Moises Avatar

    A remake of the classic horror/mystery/suspense anthology drama hosted by the late Rod Serling creator of The Twilight Zone TV series & a new host will be John Noble soon to Syfy Network & in syndication worldwide. Thanks for the information. From:Wayne.


    Night Gallery was scarier cause it seemed the things could happen? It was surely the other way around. Night Gallery was pure horror!

  9. Terry Washington Avatar
    Terry Washington

    I don’t know who will act as host of the rebooted “Night Gallery” but whoever it is has hefty shoes to fill. Not only was the late and sadly missed Rod Serling an original thinker and writer, but he had the good fortune to produce both “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery” at a time when socially conscious thinking as at its height(the 60s and 70s). It’s hard to think of such a series being produced nowadays in an era of political correctness and not offending anyone likely to be offended runs at a premium(and NOT JUST on the political left!). I owe “Night Gallery” so much- it not just inspired me to become an artist but also ultimately an author at well- I used to stay up late nights just so I could watch reruns of “Night Gallery” back in the 1980s and I have he entire series on DVD!

  10. Michael Catchings Avatar
    Michael Catchings

    I feel this guy would be a perfect Sterling substitute for either a twilight zone or Night Gallery reboot.

  11. Laszlo Voros Avatar
    Laszlo Voros

    This is a tall order. The Twilight Zone was extremely scary. Especially the one about the puppet.
    When you’ve had the same dream about a puppet for three years as a kid, that was scary.
    But the Night Gallery was also beyond spooky. Pickman’s Model scared the hell out of me. You can get some of the original paintings on line but it’s hard. Now to find the right voice will be hard Rod Serling was perfect and hard to beat. Anthony Hopkins may have the right voice. But if they do the series right, then it should be great to watch.

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