The Twilight Zone (1985–1989)
7 user 1 critic

Gramma/Personal Demons/Cold Reading 

A boy is terrified of his odd, sinister, bed-ridden grandma. / A hack with writer's block is tormented by impish hell-raising creatures that only he can see. / An understudy copes with radio director's insistence on real sound effects.


Rod Serling (created by), Harlan Ellison (teleplay by) | 5 more credits »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Barret Oliver ... Georgie (segment "Gramma")
Darlanne Fluegel ... Mom (segment "Gramma")
Frederick Long Frederick Long ... Gramma (segment "Gramma")
Martin Balsam ... Rockne S. O'Bannon (segment "Personal Demons")
Clive Revill ... Agent (segment "Personal Demons")
Joshua Shelley Joshua Shelley ... Herman Gold (segment "Personal Demons")
Tommy Madden ... Creature #1 (segment "Personal Demons")
Marlena Giovi Marlena Giovi ... Widow (segment "Personal Demons")
Penny Baker Penny Baker ... Pam (segment "Personal Demons")
Stephen Flanigan Stephen Flanigan ... Harry (Segment "Personal Demons")
Billy Curtis ... Creature (segment "Personal Demons")
Gary Friedkin Gary Friedkin ... Creature (segment "Personal Demons")
Kevin Thompson ... Creature (segment "Personal Demons")
Daniel Frishman ... Creature (segment "Personal Demons") (as Dan Frishman)
Lou Carry Lou Carry ... Creature (segment "Personal Demons")


In GRAMMA, a long-standing family tradition is passed to the next generation when young George looks after his invalid grandmother during his mother's absence. Blocked hack writer Rockne O'Bannon is plagued by destructive PERSONAL DEMONS that only he can see. During the heyday of radio, a director plans a COLD READING of a play with authentic special effects. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

14 February 1986 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of the series for which Rockne S. O'Bannon (Martin Balsam) wrote was Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1958). Balsam appeared in an episode of that series entitled Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse: The Time Element (1958), which served as the unofficial pilot of The Twilight Zone (1959). See more »


References The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Lovecraft LIves/Writer's Block/Radio Days
23 April 2017 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

There is no greater fan of H. P. Lovecraft than I am, having read all his stories numerous times. This first offering gives us a bit of pause. Most immediately, who is grandma and why is she there, and why is mom leaving her son there. Lovecraft created the Chthulu mythos and countless authors have written stories based on it, including Stephen King. We know right away that Gramma is a monster and the poor kid is in grave danger. He starts to read the Necronimicon and saying words that generate horrors. It's pretty good, but the conclusion is the same old same old. "Personal Demons" has hack writer Martin Balsam with a huge case of non-creativity. Then a bunch of guys in black robs and with destructive tendencies show up. You can guess the rest. "Cold Reading" is much more imaginative. It is full of nice touches based on the idea that since we cannot see the radio personalities, we don't know what goes on in the studio. This is somewhat original.

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