In an interview from Marc Scott Zicree’s indispensable “The Twilight Zone Companion,” the “Twilight Zone” producer William Froug claimed that CBS’ then-president Jim Aubrey “decided he was sick of the show” and canceled it, citing poor ratings and the show being over budget (neither of which was accurate). Serling subsequently received an offer from ABC to continue the series under the title “Witches, Warlocks, and Werewolves” (named after the 1963 fantasy and horror anthology novel he had edited) to avoid copyright infringement. Instead, Serling did the network one better and proposed a sequel in the form of “Wax Museum.”

Much like the original “Twilight Zone” opening title sequence, every episode of “Wax Museum” would have begun with a series of dissolves, this time moving towards Bolt Castle (which Serling described as a “haunted house” in his pitch). Therein, Serling would guide the camera to a shrouded figure, which would turn out to be a wax figure of the episode’s protagonist. Serling would narrate this process as follows:

“A hearty welcome to my wax museum. For your entertainment and edification, we offer you stories of the weird, the wild, and the wondrous; stories that are told to the accompaniment of distant banging shutters, an invisible creaking door, an errant wailing wind that comes from the dark outside. These are stories that involve the citizenry of the night. In short, this museum is devoted to … goose flesh, bristled hair, and dry mouths.”

Watch enough of “The Twilight Zone” and you can practically head Serling enunciating every one of these words in his particular fashion. “Wax Museum” sounded promising enough, striking the same sinister tone as its parent series while creating an eerie vibe all its own. Sorry to say, though, artistic differences killed the show before it even started.



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