Chiller Theater returns 60 years after original show aired on Channel 11

PITTSBURGH — Chilly Billy Cardille returns to Chiller Theater this weekend. Cardille plays himself in the 1968 zombie thriller “Night of the Living Dead”. The George A. Romero movie was shot largely in Butler County and has become the “Go To” classic for horror buffs across the world.

The special two-hour Chiller Theater airs at 11:30 p.m. Saturday on PCNC and midnight on the free WPXI NOW streaming app.

The new version of Chiller Theater is sponsored by Hundred Acres Manor and will have an eight-episode run through Oct.28. If you miss any episodes, you can find them here: www.wpxi.com/ChillerTheater

Chiller Theater originally hit the air on WIIC-TV 60 years ago.

The horror and sci-fi movie show was hosted by Cardille from 1963 to 1984.  For more than two decades “Chilly Billy” was the staple of late-night entertainment on WPXI-TV (formerly WIIC-TV). The show was so popular in the 1970s it kept NBC’s Saturday Night Live off of Channel 11 for nearly four years.

Bill and his cast of castle characters, Norman the Castle Keeper, Terminal Stare, Sister Susie, Stephen the Castle Prankster and Georgette The Fudgemaker, kept Chiller Theater in the #1 spot in the ratings through the end of the 1970s and early 1980s.

The updated show is hosted by WPXI-TV Meteorologist Scott Harbaugh. 

“I grew up here in the ‘70s. There is only one Chilly Billy, and I am no Bill Cardille,” Harbaugh said. “We’d be doing ourselves a huge disservice trying to replicate such an iconic program in Pittsburgh television history.”

This rebooted Chiller Theater is the brainchild of WPXI-TV employee Jake Klingensmith and former employee Jeremy Lynch. Klingensmith has been working behind the scenes since 2018 to bring Chiller Theater back from the dead.

Klingensmith said, “Growing up around the Pittsburgh area and being a fan of vintage horror and sci-fi, I thought it was only right to try to reboot the show.  It’s not the same show, but we feel we’re taking it in a direction people will love.”

You can also get behind-the-scenes videos and classic Chiller Theater clips on the Chiller Theater YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/@chillertheaterTV

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