In the annals of film history, there are a select few directors – some examples being Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese – whose body of work is so good overall that they themselves become legends within the medium. Another of these filmmakers is most definitely Alfred Hitchcock. Often referred to as the master of suspense, Hitchcock directed over 50 feature films over the course of his long career, including such classics as Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, and Vertigo.
So popular with and respected by the general public of the time was Hitchcock that in 1955 CBS premiered Alfred Hitchcock Presents, a mystery and suspense-themed anthology series. Continuing Hitchcock’s pattern of turning most of what he touched into gold, AHP was a big hit, lasting for a total of 10 seasons. Over 300 episodes were produced over that 10 year period, with the last several seasons increasing in length to a full hour per week. In 1985, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was resurrected by NBC, featuring both new stories and remakes of classic episodes, introduced by colorized and re-edited footage of Hitchcock. This revival lasted for four seasons in total, moving to then-upstart cable channel USA from season 2 onward.
With TV outlets now perhaps more obsessed than ever before with the idea of basing as many new series as possible upon properties with an existing fanbase, it’s not too surprising to learn that the now long-deceased Hitchcock is once again headed back to the small-screen. Universal Cable Productions is now developing a new Hitchcock-based anthology series entitled simply Welcome to Hitchcock. A network has yet to be attached to the project, although a logical home would once again be USA, due to the channel being owned by NBC Universal.
Welcome to Hitchcock is officially described as being an original anthology series that will focus on “a single season-long mystery or crime in the spirit of the classic Hitchcock style and legacy.” Here is the official statement on the news from Universal Cable Productions Executive Vice President of Development, Dawn Olmstead:
“Long after his death, Alfred Hitchcock continues to be one of the most celebrated directors and visionaries in the world, a master manipulator of the macabre. We’re honored that the Hitchcock Estate has put its trust in our studio to pay homage to his work.”
Katie O’Connell-Fiala, who founded the Hitchcock Trust and MTK Corporation with her sisters, Mary O’Connell-Stone and Tere O’Connell-Carrubba, has issued her own statement about the news:
“Our grandfather always collaborated with the best and the brightest to help shape his vision. We’re confident that Universal Cable Productions will take great care in helping us to continue preserving his legacy.”
It sounds like Welcome to Hitchcock is embracing the anthology TV show format where a story is told over the course of a single season, with new characters and setting being introduced every year (a format that, of course, has been popularized by FX’s American Horror Story in recent years). That said, it’s unclear what particular Hitchcock stories Welcome to Hitchcock plans to adapt. Might producers create a season-long re-telling of a classic like North by Northwest? Or perhaps take a cue from AHP (1985) and remake classic episodes of Hitchcock’s ’50s and ’60s series? At this point, it’s up in the air, at least publicly. One could almost say that fans of the legendary director will have to remain in suspense until more information is revealed, which would no doubt please him were he still among the living.
Welcome to Hitchcock is in development and has no current premiere date.
Source: Universal Cable Productions