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My Conversation With 'Rod Serling' Author Airs Sunday

"Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination" was published Oct. 16.
"Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination" was published Oct. 16.

Author Nick Parisi talks to me about Rod Serling's early 1950s TV scripts, and how they shaped his  writing for The Twilight Zoneand other network TV shows, on Around Cincinnati7 p.m. Sunday Oct. 28 on WVXU-FM and WMUB-FM.

Parisi published Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination earlier this month. (Full disclosure here: I did a few days of research for him by reading early 1950-52 TV columns in the Cincinnati Post, Enquirerand Times-Staron microfilm at the downtown Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.)

Rod Serling publicity photo for "The Twilight Zone" premiere in 1959.
Credit Courtesy CBS
CBS publicity photo of Rod Serling for 'The Twilight Zone' premiere in 1959.

The 584-page book is the first comprehensive look at all of Serling's scripts, starting with shows he wrote for The Storm, WKRC-TV's live half-hour drama series in 1951-52. Parisi devotes the second chapter to Serling's Cincinnati days.

In the interview, which airs after 7:15 p.m., Parisi and I discuss:

--How Serling rewrote and expanded concepts from The Storm for The Twilight Zoneand other network shows, including "The Time Element" (the 1958 Twilight Zone pilot on Desilu Playhouse); "Mr. Finchley vs. The Bomb (NBC); "No Gods To Serve" (NBC) and "The Twilight Rounds" (Requiem For A Heavyweight).

--How Serling wrote perhaps the first TV production about racial prejudice, an April 1952 episode of The Storm called "As Yet Untitled," about San Francisco area residents refusing to let a Chinese man buy a home in their suburb.

--And how Parisi grew up on Long Island as a huge Cincinnati Reds fan. I couldn't resist asking Parisi about what kind of drama Serling might have written about Cincinnati's tragic sports hero, Pete Rose.

You can read more about the book in my Oct. 16 story, "New Rod Serling Book Explores His Cincinnati TV Work."

Around Cincinnatiairs 7-8 p.m. Sundays on WVXU-FM (91.7), WMUB-FM (88.5) and wvxu.org. 

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