6. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Air Dates: October 2, 1955 - May 10, 1965
Network: CBS, NBC
Best Episode: "The Case Of Mr. Pelham" (December 4, 1955)
The Twilight Zone has its legendary music. Tales From The Crypt has the one-of-a-kind Crypt Keeper. Alfred Hitchcock Presents, meanwhile, has its iconic title sequence: As the teasingly sinister theme song plays, the silhouette of the seminal filmmaker's chubby face is seen on a light wall, and then Hitch himself steps right into the frame and fills out the sketched impression. And then, two simple words: “Good evening.”
In almost any other case, those words would be considered a warm, friendly greeting, but not when it comes to Alfred Hitchcock Presents. An anthology series centered on mystery and suspense, Hitchcock's stab at the television format came on the heels of the British filmmaker's Hollywood infiltration, with classic films like Strangers On A Train (1951), Dial M For Murder (1954), and Rear Window (1954).
For his TV project, Hitch stuck to the same ingredients used in his best cinematic thrillers: paranoia, deceit, and homicide. An “evening” filled with episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents is certainly “good” for the viewer, not so much for the doomed characters on screen.