CBS (ended 1964)
I am 38 and have been a fan for as long as I can remember. I watched the movie when it came out and have seen both "revivals" come and go. Nothing can compare to the original.
I think we have the Sci Fi marathons to thank for the plethora of young fans out there. I know my husband and I look forward to them so much. Today we are 'coming down' from 2 days of TZ bliss, although we were bummed that they didn't show "A Stop at Willoughby". Now we have to wait til New Year's................
I'm in my fifties now, and recall s few episodes from their first go-round. Then got to see the whole series over and over when CBS put them into syndication in the mid-sixties. Stations that took them at first ran them mainly in the late afternoon, for us kids to catch when we returned home from school.
Though Serling, Houghton, and Co. never planned on it, TZ was most popular with younger audiences, as tons of fan mail from kids would attest. Yet they are on the whole, very sophisticated and appreciated by adults, even more if you saw them first 40-odd years ago.
Well, of course they aren't on the same level , and never were. Sci-fi once was a richer. more varied form. In the 30's and 40's it wasn't even a distict genre unto itself, mixed in with other types of adventure stories in pulps or dramatic anthologies of a spooky or suspenseful nature on the radio. Usually the term to describe Lovecraft or Welles was "fantasy".
Horror is another type of fantasy, and easily finds it's way into Sci-fi. However, the thoughtful creations of someone like Bradbury, Asimov or Serling rarely need a monster. OUTER LIMITS was far more wieghted towards a monster horror show than good Sci-fi writings of the 50's. OL satisfied my childish need for easy to understand scary-creatures-terrorising-people-tales. Indeed, I actually saw the first episode's premiere, and it scared the beans out of me! But revisiting them later on, you can see the flaws in every episode. On the whole they are nothing more than contrived ways to get the scary monster/s on their rampages. Even in more intriguing stories like the one where time suddenly comes to a nearly indescernable crawl, at the air base, suffered from too much time to fill, and they watered the soup down until it's more water than soup. They're dumbed down monster shows for kids.
There were two schools of thought, you could say, about how much Sci-fi was horror, or should have horror. But in the last twenty years surely, the debate has resolutely been lost. Sci-fi is a monster show. It is horror. It has become the same movie/TV show endlessly repeated.Toss in a great big helping of feminist philosophy (enough with the "empowered' 90 pound, 20 year old super heroines and villianesses, awready!) and you have what Sci-fi has become. I can hardly tell one hour of "SCI-FI CHANNEL" from another.