The first episode of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" television series debuted 60 years ago and Binghamton will host a three-day celebration to mark the occasion.

The CBS show was broadcast on WNBF-TV on October 2, 1959. The first episode entitled "Where Is Everybody?" aired at 10 p.m. on Channel 12 in Binghamton.

This year's Serling Fest will be held at three sites in the city Friday through Sunday. Friday's events will be held at Atomic Tom's at 196 State Street. Events on Saturday will take place at the Forum Theatre and events Sunday will be at Binghamton High School's Helen Foley Theatre.

Serling Fest coordinator Nick Parisi said Serling's daughters, Anne and Jodi, are planning to be involved in the celebration. Other participants will include authors who have written about The Twilight Zone and Rod Serling.

The preview of the first episode of The Twilight Zone in the Binghamton Press described the program as "fantasy for grownups." The blurb concluded with: "We think this series may really be a hit."

The original series never dominated the ratings over its five seasons but the 156 episodes are regarded by many critics as some of the best shows to have been aired on prime-time television.

Rod Serling was a student at Binghamton Central High School. He was 50 years old when he died in June 1975.

The Rod Serling Archive at the Bundy Museum

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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