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The Twilight Zone updates for 2019, and it's as creepy as ever

Jordan Peele takes us into the dimension of the imagination in this cinematic and atmospheric reboot on CBS All Access.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read
CBS All Access

Are you ready to enter the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition? Are you ready to enter the The Twilight Zone?

An all new version of the classic mystery show has arrived for 2019, and it's produced and presented by Jordan Peele, fresh off huge critical acclaim and a massive box office opening for his second movie Us. A host of stars join him in the dimension of imagination for each standalone story of weirdness and wonder, reinvented for the age of smartphones and podcasts.

The show is exclusive to CBS All Access. The first two episodes premiere April 1, with new chapters released every Thursday from April 11 onward. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company). 

Peele has made the leap from self-contained comedy sketches to terrifying horror movies and now combines those ingredients in The Twilight Zone. Each episode is a self-contained yarn mixing black comedy with chilling horror, stirring anxiety and paranoia with off-kilter camera angles and sinister close-ups.

One of the first two installments, The Comedian, stars Kumail Nanjiani as the titular stand-up who keeps dying on stage -- until he gets some scathing new material. It's like The King of Comedy or The Marvellous Mrs Maisel meets ... well, The Twilight Zone.

Nanjiani's ambiguous performance is backed up by Tracy Morgan with a creepily subdued, gravelly voiced turn in this sinister look at the price of fame.

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The Twilight Zone is no joke for Kumail Nanjiani and a host of other stars.

CBS All Access

As well as rebooting the format -- and the iconic theme tune -- the new show also reinvents perhaps the most infamous installment from the classic series. Adam Scott brings his nervous charm to Nightmare at 30,000 Feet, riffing on an episode that starred William Shatner and a gremlin.

We can tell you that these two debut installments are cinematic and atmospheric, but that's about as far as we can go -- pretty much anything else would be a spoiler, and it's best to go in with no idea where these hour-long eerie anecdotes will take you. Fans of Black Mirror will enjoy the twists in the tales, especially if you start spotting the little references and Easter eggs...

Meanwhile, the rest of the series features names like Ginnifer GoodwinSeth RogenJessica WilliamsSteven YeunChris O'DowdDeWanda Wise and John Cho.

The original five seasons ran for 156 episodes between 1959 and 1964, followed by a movie and two reboots. You can view 10 classic episodes for free on CBS.com, and seasons 1 through 3 plus season 5 are available to subscribers of Amazon Prime and Netflix. The hour-long season 4 stories are at Hulu and CBS All Access.

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