On this day in 1924, Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling was born in Syracuse, New York. A screenwriter best known for his live television dramas, Serling created the classic TV series The Twilight Zone.
Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in Binghamton, New York and later served as a U.S. Army paratrooper and demolition specialist during World War II. His military experiences greatly affected his writing (and the rest of his life).
A year after graduating from college, Serling broke into television by writing scripts for such shows as Fireside Theater, Lux Video Theater, and Kraft Television Theater. Although he met with success, he was tired of seeing his scripts censored and decided to create his own show.
In 1959, Serling's The Twilight Zone debuted on CBS-TV. The original series ran for 5 seasons (and remains syndicated to this day). Described as an anthology series, each episode presented its own separate story - often involving characters who face unusual circumstances.
Serling served as head writer, executive producer and host (delivering on and off-screen monologues).
Disney's popular park attraction The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is based upon The Twilight Zone series. A simulated freefall thrill ride, Disney Imagineers supposedly watched every episode of Serling's series at least twice to create the detailed attraction.
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