Today I will be writing about the most memorable and bizarre television series I have ever watched as a child. Night Gallery premiered on December 16, 1970, on the NBC television network. The host was Rod Serling, who previously hosted The Twilight Zone in the 1960s. A pilot television film aired on November 8, 1969. I never saw the show when it aired on the network, and I wasn’t aware of it all. I was seven years old when it debuted.
The TV show entered syndication in the fall of 1973, and I started to watch the reruns. At first, I was scared and intrigued at the same time. The opening of the show presented a collage of scenes and paintings of the show. The music was creepy, and it was a perfect fit for the show. I watched Rod Serling introducing the segments, and he was mesmerizing. That was the first time I saw him on the television screen. I never watched The Twilight Zone until years later, when the reruns resumed airing on WGN-TV Channel 9 in the 1980s. I am a big fan of that show too.
When I watched the shows, I loved seeing all the famous guest stars.
I also remembered the television promos and, sometimes they were scarier than the actual episodes. I remembered the classic late-night TV lineup of good shows that aired on channel 32. There was The Best of Groucho, The Honeymooners, Dark Shadows, and of course, Night Gallery. I watched those shows every night in my bedroom on my Zenith black and white TV set. I enjoyed them immensely.
A few things that I discovered while watching Night Gallery. The episodes were heavily edited and featured stock footage from other television shows and movies. There were also episodes of the TV series The Sixth Sense. Rod Serling filmed the introductions, but later on, I found out that he had no involvement with the show when it aired in 1972. I thought that was strange. The Sixth Sense also featured famous guest stars, and the star of the show was Gary Collins. The reruns of both shows still aired like that today. Night Gallery had so many classic episodes. The one titled, The Painted Mirror was my favorite. This episode consisted of a magic mirror with a reflection of the prehistoric world. It instantly reminded me of the 1993 film Jurassic Park.
I was ecstatic when I heard the news that the first season of Night Gallery to be on DVD in 2004. There were some VHS home videos of selected episodes released in the 1980s. The first season of the show on DVD format was in 2004. The second season in 2008 and the third was in 2012. I purchased all of them and started watching them. The episodes are all uncut and unedited. It was weird watching the episodes on video. They were excellent, and the stock footage was not there. The television episodes of The Sixth Sense were not there as well. There is something strangely charming about the syndicated reruns of the series. I still watched them occasionally, and I still like them. I guess I do this for nostalgia’s sake. If you have a favorite episode or memory of Night Gallery, please comment here or on my social media accounts. Thank you. Pete Kastanes. Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.