Good news, boils and ghouls!
Cult-favourite shlock-horror series Tales From The Crypt — a staple late-night show for any budding young viewer of TV1 back in the '90s and '00s, when it was arguably the best, or at least most diverse, station on Foxtel — will be given a second chance at life (or, more accurately, undeath) via US network TNT, with a little help from renowned filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, it has been reported.
According to Variety, the revival of the classic anthology series — the original iteration of which ran for seven seasons on HBO from 1989 to 1996 and featured a revolving door of respected late-20th-century actors — comes as part of TNT's plans for a new two-hour block of horror-based shows in 2016, with Tales From The Crypt aiming for a one-hour run time.
"This … horror block demonstrates not only TNT's commitment to working with today's top talents, but also our strategy to stand out in today's marketplace by challenging the conventional rules of programming and scheduling," TNT executive vice-president of original programming Sarah Aubrey said in a statement.
The revival will take its cues not from the old show but, rather, the original EC Comics series from the 1950s, with entirely original stories also being written for the new run of episodes — which may not even be contained to one single show.
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"It is an umbrella for what hopefully will be many shows," TNT president Kevin Reilly said at a Television Critics Association event in California this week. "We're going to put a variety of different genre shows, some of which may have a weird sense of humour, some of which may be actually downright frightening, some of which may be a unique blend of genres, but all united under the Tales From The Crypt brand.
"Night is definitely going to direct, most likely the first one, and we'll see how that evolves."
As Variety notes, Shyamalan will also serve as co-executive producer of the series, along with Ashwin Rajan, his partner at Binding Edge Pictures, with The Sixth Sense director saying in a statement: "To be part of such a beloved brand like Tales From The Crypt, something I grew up watching, and to also have the chance to push the boundaries of genre television as a whole, is an inspiring opportunity that I can't wait to dive into."
It bears mentioning that the original HBO series was also based on EC's Tales From The Crypt book, though it also plumbed stories from similar titles released by the publisher, such as The Vault Of Horror, The Haunt Of Fear, The Crypt Of Terror and others. Encouragingly, the immensely popular host, the Crypt-Keeper — who introduced each episode and story of the show — was a product of EC [along with fellow book 'hosts' the Vault-Keeper and the Old Witch, who weren't translated to the screen], meaning that it's not out of the realm of possibility that Tales From The Crypt 2K16 will boast everyone's favourite skeletal master of ceremonies in some form or another.