Alfred Hitchcock Presents Had A Short-Lived Spinoff Most Fans Likely Missed

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Written By Sedoso Feb

During the time “Suspicion” was being developed, Joan Harrison was overseeing production for “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” — she was responsible for handling 39 half-hour episodes at the time — and the added burden of handling “Suspicion” proved to be too much for one person. Norman Lloyd was brought in to assist Harrison, but this was not enough to salvage the new series, as it suffered from poor reviews and dwindling ratings throughout its first season.

The show’s association with Hitchcock, along with its thematic similarities to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” did not help boost its popularity. If anything, it suffered due to unfavorable comparisons, as it lacked the unique originality that the half-hour anthology boasted. On top of that, despite Abel’s best efforts, his appeal was nowhere near that of Hitchcock’s as a host capable of pulling audiences in.

Another reason why the show failed is that anthologies did not survive the competitive market unless they had a strong selling point, such as a beloved host whose presence alone bookended stories that were enriched with compelling context as the episodes started and finished. As anthologies do not have recurring characters that encourage familiarity, everything boils down to the quality of the tales and the appeal of a host who can hold the creative project together. Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” is a good example of an anthology series that delivered both on the story front while maintaining consistent brand appeal, as Serling’s presence was pivotal to every episode (regardless of its innate artistic value).

While “Suspicion” offered many episodes that were excellently crafted, the series simply couldn’t measure up to the show that had inspired its existence in the first place. As a result, “Suspicion” ended after a single season, despite being an admirably put-together suspense anthology that now regrettably remains half-forgotten.

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