The CW's 'Tales from the Darkside' Reboot Won't Be an Anthology After All


Tales from the Darkside


Last week, I had the pleasure of reporting on the development of a CW produced revival of classic '80s anthology series 'Tales from the Darkside.' Unfortunately, while the show is still happening, it seems that the reports of the new 'Darkside' retaining the anthology format were greatly exaggerated. That sound you just heard was my bubble bursting.

In a new interview with MTV, author and screenwriter Joe Hill (son of Stephen King, who had several stories adapted for the original 'Darkside' series) set the record straight on how the reboot will work.

"Well, for starters, the show is just called 'Darkside,'" Hill said. "And it really is a reinvention, not a reboot. My feeling is, in the wake of shows like 'The X-Files' and 'Fringe,' the days when you could do a straightforward horror anthology are over." Hill also describes the project as a "descendant, not a reanimation." Sigh, it appears that the once treasured horror anthology show format will remain dead and buried for now.

Hill adds that while he will indeed pen the pilot, he would only be a creative supervisor on future episodes, due to his publishing commitments. He does at least say that he would like to use short stories (such as his own 'PopArt') as the basis for episode plots, even if the characters and setting don't change every week.

The current goal for a prospective first season of 'Darkside' (according to Hill) is making 11-13 half hour episodes, which would likely air in the summer of 2014. That is "unless the pilot sucks, in which case I would expect zero episodes."

Finally, Hill reaffirmed that no progress has been made in getting his previous 'Locke & Key' pilot made into a movie: "It's been snared in an endless series of contractual negotiations. Universal took a long, long time to come through with an acceptable contract for myself and IDW. Now they're dealing with a bureaucracy as labyrinthine and implacable as their own: FOX TV. Uni wants to avoid spending $25 million on a movie, and then have FOX steal their thunder by releasing a three-year-old pilot."

Are you disappointed to learn that the new 'Darkside' won't be an anthology series? Do you still plan to tune in to the pilot?

- CW
- Tales from the Darkside (1983)

Written by: msd85
Nov 18th, 2013, 2:42 pm

Images courtesy of Paramount


Message Posted On Nov 21st, 2013, 8:16 am
Bummer. I absolutely loved anthology shows like The Twilight Zone, Tales From The Crypt and The Outer Limits growing up and I was looking forward to seeing something similar with this reboot of "Tales From The Darkside". But I guess all the clever twists needed for such a show to work have been done before. Perhaps it'll still be worthwhile, but I've definitely lost most of the enthusiam I had after reading your first announcement of this show.

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Message Posted On Nov 19th, 2013, 1:33 am

A 30 minute show that is NOT an anthology series?  Well that's going to suck, plain and simple.  It just isn't enough time to develop an interesting story.  It has been tried and has failed.  As much as I like it for nostalgia's sake, check out "Werewolf - The Series" for an idea why 30 minute dramas do not work........especially on a network with commercials.......


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Message Posted On Nov 18th, 2013, 9:08 pm

I get the impression that they maybe going for something like Friday the 13th: The Series. While it had several episodic stand-alone stories, there was an undercurrent plot and central characters who served proactive, non-narrator roles to unify them. While I'm also a tad disappointed myself not to see another standard anthology series, I'm glad they're doing something a bit different with the title. However, "descendant" is an iffy label given how the original series already had a spirtual spin-off (Monsters), as well as a movie. Not to mention the series itself was basically a TV adaptation of the Creepshow films.


Message Posted On Nov 18th, 2013, 4:40 pm
While this is disappointing news, I will still be tuning in for the pilot as I am a huge fan of Joe Hill's writing. I'll be interested to see how the "reinvention" goes. I'm also disappointed that "Locke & Key" has hit so many snags. I was really hoping that pilot would eventually make it to TV. With both Joe Hill AND Mark Pellegrino attached to one show that would have been heaven for me!
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