Night Gallery

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Night Gallery
Also known as Rod Serling's Night Gallery
Genre Fantasy
Created by Rod Serling
Presented by Rod Serling
Theme music composer Gil Mellé
Composer(s) Robert Bain
Paul Glass
John Lewis
Gil Mellé
Oliver Nelson
Robert Prince
Eddie Sauter
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 43 (+ pilot) (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Jack Laird
William Sackheim
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 50 minutes (seasons 1 & 2)
25 minutes (season 3)
Production company(s) NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release

November 8, 1969 (1969-11-08) (pilot)

December 16, 1970 (1970-12-16) – May 27, 1973 (1973-05-27)

Night Gallery is an American anthology series that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1973, featuring stories of horror and the macabre. Rod Serling, who had gained fame from an earlier series, The Twilight Zone, served both as the on-air host of Night Gallery and as a major contributor of scripts, although he did not have the same control of content and tone as he had on The Twilight Zone.[1][2] Serling viewed Night Gallery as a logical extension of The Twilight Zone, but while both series shared an interest in thought-provoking dark fantasy, the lion’s share of Zone‘s offerings were science fiction while Night Gallery focused on horror and the supernatural.[3]


Serling appeared in an art gallery setting and introduced the macabre tales that made up each episode by unveiling paintings (by artist Thomas J. Wright) that depicted the stories. His intro usually was, “Good evening, and welcome to a private showing of three paintings, displayed here for the first time. Each is a collector’s item in its own way—not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a canvas, suspends in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare.”

Night Gallery regularly presented adaptations of classic fantasy tales by authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, as well as original works, many of which were by Serling himself.

Joan Crawford in the film which began the series, 1969

The series was introduced with a pilot TV movie that aired on November 8, 1969, and featured the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg, as well as one of the last acting performances by Joan Crawford.

Unlike the series, in which the paintings merely accompanied an introduction to the upcoming story, the paintings themselves actually appeared in the three segments, serving major or minor plot functions. Night Gallery was initially part of a rotating anthology or wheel series called Four in One. This 1970–71 television series rotated four separate shows, including McCloud, SFX (San Francisco International Airport) and The Psychiatrist. Two of these, Night Gallery and McCloud were renewed for the 1971–72 season with McCloud becoming the most popular and longest running of the four.


The series attracted criticism for its use of comedic blackout sketches between the longer story segments in some episodes, and for its splintered, multiple-story format, which contributed to its uneven tone. Another notable difference from the original Twilight Zone series was that there was no ending monologue by Serling summarizing the end of the story segment. Very often the camera would simply focus on the final chosen image (often for a chilling effect) for several seconds, then black out.

Serling wrote many of the teleplays, including "Camera Obscura" (based on a short story by Basil Copper, "The Caterpillar" (based on a short story by Oscar Cook), "Class of '99", "Cool Air" (based on a short story by H. P. Lovecraft), "The Doll", "Green Fingers", "Lindemann's Catch", and "The Messiah on Mott Street" (heavily influenced by Bernard Malamud's "Angel Levine"). Non-Serling efforts include "The Dead Man", "I'll Never Leave You—Ever", "Pickman's Model" (based on a short story by H. P. Lovecraft), "A Question of Fear", "Silent Snow, Secret Snow", and "The Sins of the Fathers".


Award nominations[edit]

Night Gallery was nominated for an Emmy Award for its first-season episode "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" as the Outstanding Single Program on U.S. television in 1971. In 1972, the series received another nomination (Outstanding Achievement in Makeup) for the second-season episode "Pickman's Model."


In order to increase the number of episodes that were available for syndication, the 60-minute episodes were re-edited for a 30-minute time slot, with many segments severely cut, and others extended by inserting "new" scenes of recycled, previously discarded, or stock footage to fill up the time. In their book Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour, authors Scott Skelton and Jim Benson identify 39 of the 98 individual segments that were produced for Night Gallery as being "severely altered" in syndication. Twenty-five episodes of an unrelated, short-lived supernatural series from 1972, The Sixth Sense, were also incorporated into the syndicated version of the series, with Serling providing newly filmed introductions to those episodes. As The Sixth Sense was originally a one-hour show, these episodes were all severely edited to fit into the half-hour timeslot.

In recent years,[vague] the original, uncut version of the series (and without the additional Sixth Sense episodes) has been shown on the Encore Mystery cable network, allowing fans to see the episodes in their original format for the first time in 30 years. The show is also available in the 30-minute format in some markets through the Retro Television Network and MeTV. All three seasons, excluding the pilot episode and the "Witches Feast" segment from Season Two, are available on Hulu free of charge.

DVD releases[edit]

In 2004, Universal released the Region 1 DVD collection (including the pilot film and the six episodes of the first season) of the series, plus bonus episodes from Seasons 2 and 3 as extras. On October 16, 2006, the first season (including the pilot film and two bonus episodes, one from Season 2 and one from Season 3) was released on Region 2 DVD.

In August 2008, Universal announced a November 11, 2008, release of the complete Season 2 DVD collection (only Region 1). Later, they announced that one story segment from Season 2, "Witches' Feast", would not be included, due to the fact that "Universal was not able to locate portions of the 40-year-old episode."

Season three was released on April 10, 2012. "Witches' Feast" is included as bonus material.

DVD name Episodes Release date Additional information
The Complete First Season 17 August 24, 2004
Season 2 61 November 11, 2008
  • Podcast commentaries, featuring Jim Benson and Scott Skelton
  • Audio commentaries, with Guillermo del Toro
  • Revisiting the Gallery: A Look Back
  • Art Gallery: The Paintings in "Rod Serling's Night Gallery"
  • NBC TV Promos
Season 3 20 April 10, 2012

See also[edit]

Similar series


  1. ^ "Night Gallery". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Skelton, Scott; Benson, Jim (1999). Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 978-0-8156-2782-1. 
  3. ^

External links[edit]