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ABC Rejects New Serling Series

Mar. 19, 1964 - ABC-TV said today it had abandoned plans to televise a series of Rod Serling fantasy dramas, tentatively titled “Witches, Warlocks and Werewolves,” next season. The network and author-producer had been negotiating for several weeks but failed to reach an agreement.

The proposed series would have been similar to Serling’s “Twilight Zone,” which CBS-TV will drop at the end of the season after a run of five years. ABC had considered the Serling show for Fridays at 9 p.m.

According to Serling, Tom Moore, head of programming at ABC, had been offended by an interview Serling gave to a West Coast Variety reporter. In it, Serling said they did not see eye-to-eye on the series’ concept.

“I was quoted as saying that by preoccupying ourselves with ghouls, graves, and walking death, we’d hook ourselves into a Class C movie concept. What Mr. Moore is looking for is a series about ghouls. I prefer to do a more adult-type show with occasional social comment. I was even opposed to the title. ‘Weird, Wild and Wondrous’ would have been more in keeping with my idea.”

Serling added: “I’m sorry if I humiliated Mr. Moore with the interview, but in this business I did not expect such sensitivity. My next step, I guess, is to go fishing or seek out a plot in Forest Lawn [cemetery].”

The leading contender to replace for the half hour Serling’s show was to occupy is Mickey Rooney’s new situation comedy series, “Mickey.”


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