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Paintings & Pictures

Rod Serling's Night GalleryNight Gallery Paintings -  After his success with THE TWILIGHT ZONE/CBS/1959-65, Rod Serling returned to network television with a supernatural anthology series called NIGHT GALLERY/NBC/1970-73. At the beginning of each episode, Rod Serling entered an eerie art gallery filled with a fanciful array of bizarre paintings and introduced a trilogy of tales with a bizarre twist. The first episode began:

"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.

Our initial offering: a small gothic item in blacks and grays. A piece of the past known as the family crypt. This one we call simply, 'The Cemetery'...Offered to you now, six feet of earth and all that it contains. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Night Gallery."

Originally THE NIGHT GALLERY aired as part of the NBC series FOUR IN ONE, a group of four mini-series that rotated from week to week. The shows included MCCLOUD, THE PSYCHIATRIST, and SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. In the fall of 1971 NIGHT GALLERY was given it own slot on Wednesday from 10-11 p.m. The show's length was cut back from 60 to 30 minutes in the fall of 1972. 

Although many of 43 episode teleplays were written by Rod Serling, he recruited the talents of such veteran writers as Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch and from time to time, he adapted classic short stories of such luminaries as H.P. Lovecraft.

Twenty-one year old Steven Spielberg's first major TV job included directing Joan Crawford in the pilot film's second segment, "Eyes" on November 8, 1969.

The series has been profiled in the 1999 publication Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (with a forward by John Astin).


The Girl with the Hungry Eyes (played by Joanna Pettet) from THE NIGHT GALLERY TV SeriesHere's another introduction: "Good evening. Let me welcome you to this parlor of paintings. We offer them to you for your enjoyment and edification -- feel free to dwell on them at your leisure and in your own good fashion. But kindly don't touch, because here they frequently touch back...Our number one painting in tonight's exhibit: this intriguing portrait of a young lady, curiously photogenic and hauntingly familiar. Recall seeing this face? You've seen it -- on billboards, in magazine ads, on television commercials. Oh yes, you've seen it -- but there are people who, having seen it, wish they hadn't. Our painting is called 'The Girl with the Hungry Eyes' and should I have failed to mention it, this is the NIGHT GALLERY." 


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