Friday, June 06, 2008

Twilight Zone to Lost. From water cooler to the Web.

The other day I noticed that you can view original episodes of "The Twilight Zone" at They have seasons one through three. Just pick your favorite episode, sit back and enjoy as host and creator Rod Serling tells you that "there is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man."

It got me thinking how almost 50 years after these original episodes aired, the Internet has impacted the way we watch television shows, plus interact with them and even have input into storylines.

Take the hit series Lost on ABC. Sure, it has a huge viewing audience. But it also has numerous web sites, blogs and podcasts dedicated to it. You can watch it, then chat online with fellow fans, listen to some great podcasts produced not only by ABC®, but also by Lost fans on their computers. The best of them is The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack. You don't even have to watch the show on your TV. You can watch it online or on your iPod®.

Borrowing a page from Lost, let's flashback to the 60's and The Twilight Zone. During this time, it was an absolute classic show, and similar in many ways to Lost; always eerie and unpredictable. However, talking about it was limited to the water cooler or writing a letter to the network and that was it.

Today's producers of hit shows pay close attention to what fans are or aren't saying on the ‘Net. They read posts and blogs, listen to podcasts and interact directly with you. Many times you can chat online with the show's stars and producers.

Imagine being able to go online and chat with Rod Serling. Or discuss a show or ideas for a show online with fellow fans. Well, it's heading that way. Google The Twilight Zone and you'll get a lot of hits, but no chats with Serling.

I wonder if Rod Serling's fertile imagination ever thought this could happen? It wouldn't surprise me one bit if he did. It might have made for a fun episode of The Twilight Zone.
He'd have to re-write the intro a bit to something along the lines of "you're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up-ahead: your next stop: the Internet."

John W. Scherer
John W. Scherer, CEO & founder, Video Professor, Inc.
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PS. I post this on June 6th, 2008. It was 64 years ago that Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy leading to the end of World War II. Let's not ever forget that day.