The Alfred Hitchcock Hour's 60-minute format allowed Hitch more freedom

"It is not literally true that television viewers will see twice as much Alfred Hitchcock as before. My diet forbids such a ghastly eventuality."

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For television viewers in the '50s and '60s, there was one TV silhouette that proved instantly recognizable. Alfred Hitchcock, a master of both marketing and the macabre, was able to brand not just his name, or his face, but his actual shape. As viewers tuned into Alfred Hitchcock Presents, an outline of the filmmaker's head and chest, paired with composer Charles Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette," marked the beginning of a terribly suspenseful story.

But that show only allowed the creators 30 minutes to build and pay off all that tension. It wasn't until 1962, when the show was extended and rebranded The Alfred Hitchcock Hour that the team was allowed a longer format better suited for long-form storytelling. 

The Master of Suspense himself took to the press to share his delight. Hitchcock was thrilled to have more time to torture and entertain his audience. In an August 1962 article clipped from the Tucson Daily Citizen, Hitch, in typical droll fashion, expounds on the new format.

"It is decidedly true that The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, as the title rather plainly implies, will endure for 60 minutes each week, instead of 30," said Hitchcock.

He then went on to lambast the show's corporate sponsors for hogging up valuable minutes with their dastardly commercials. "Despite the sponsors' infringement upon our time, the one-hour period will allow us to tell full dramatic stories in natural narrative style, whereas the half-hour show permitted us only short tales that led to a 'twist' ending."

Now, untethered by the restraints of such a short block, Hitchcock was able to gather stories from all manner of sources. 

"In doing an anthology of one-hour dramas, we are in fact able to derive stories from all literary sources, not only originals but novels and all manner and length of published works. The half-hour form had limited us to short stories." 

It wasn't just where the stories were pulled from, but the ways in which the stories were told that changed as well. Prior to this 60-minute show, characters were merely the vessels for a story, oftentimes relegated to two-dimensional caricatures of people, rather than fleshed-out, believable beings. 

"One hour also gives more time for character development and for humor, an indispensable item in any successful suspense story," said Hitchcock. "I am privileged to divulge that suspense will remain an active ingredient of all our presentations."

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour allowed Hitchcock and his team of craftspeople to deliver new, exciting stories to willing viewers through 1965.

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22 Comments

GOOSEYGOOSE9 6 months ago
Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock rip
Deleted 11 months ago
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dougandandyfan 11 months ago
Anyone remember Moose played by
Barry Greenberg who is dancing with a girl played by Carey Williams in the season one episode of Happy Days called Guess Who's Coming To Visit. Eugene Belvin and Melvin Belvin came on Happy Days in 1980 and 1981 and Moose was on Happy Days in 1974.
dougandandyfan 11 months ago
I wish that Moose (Barry Greenberg)
Eugene Belvin played by Denis Mandel and Melvin Belvin played by
Scott Bernstein had all been on
Happy Days at the Same Time because I think that Moose Eugene and Melvin would have become good friends with each other.
I also wish that BAG Zombroski played by Neil J Schwartz and
Chuck Cunningham 2 played by
Randolph Roberts had stayed on
Happy Days instead of leaving
Happy Days in 1975 for CHUCK and 1977 for BAG. Roger Phillips played by Ted McGinley was also a great character on Happy Days 😊 😃.
dougandandyfan 11 months ago
I also wish that Alfred Hitcock and Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone had also been actors in addition to
what Hitchcock and Serling were already doing .
Mannixishot 12 months ago
I would love to see Alfred's opinion about today's commercials!
Mannixishot 12 months ago
Both Alfred series are so well written and acted. It's amazing to see how much they can cram into both timeslots and everything somehow clicks all together. Neither series gets the appreciation they should imo.
JKMallaber 12 months ago
Love both shows! Still haunted by the one where a prisoner tries to escape in a coffin, and ends up getting buried!
cperrynaples JKMallaber 12 months ago
Bonus Question: what cult '60's star played the convict? Hint: He was on a former MeTV show!
Mannixishot cperrynaples 12 months ago
Edd Byrnes. That is a pretty good episode. It just played not that long ago.
JKMallaber Mannixishot 12 months ago
Wish I could've seen it. Dish isn't carrying MeTV anymore and I don't have any other way to get it.
cperrynaples JKMallaber 12 months ago
Well, i always recommend the Frndly streaming service! For $9 a month I get many digital channels including MeTV! The show I refered to is 77 Sunset Strip which had a marathon on Decades just before they became Classy Comedy! BTW, this weekend will be a Mayberry RFD marathon!
Does Cathcy Comedy show Happy Days? I'm waiting for the Chuck Cunningham Mini Marathon followed by The BAG Zombroski Marathon and The Moose Eugene Belvin and Melvin Belvin Mini Marathon and The Cpl Boyle And
Lou Ann Poovie Marathon of Gomer Pyle USMC episodes.
MrsPhilHarris 12 months ago
This show would be great at 7 or 8 in the evening.
Andybandit 12 months ago
Good that the show was 60 minutes. He really did get to be more creative with the show. It was a good show.
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cperrynaples 12 months ago
I don't think she did an AHH but she did several AHPs! She died only a few years ago!
teire 12 months ago
I actually preferred the half hour format, there is a real art to telling a story well in a short timeframe and he never disappointed. The hours were good too, I just really appreciate those half hour episodes.
cperrynaples 12 months ago
Once again,sloppy proofreading! TAHH began in 1962 and ENDED in 1965, which means he just missed color! The quotation from 1962 confirms this!
Bapa1 12 months ago
He should have hosted a Variety Show.
Runeshaper 12 months ago
Most EXCELLENT! Sounds like Alfred was stoked about the extra time and I bet the fans were too (-:
dougandandyfan Runeshaper 11 months ago
Alfred Hitcock and Rod Serling would have been great actors.
Happy Days Fans :
Please contact METV and tell them We Want Happy Days back on METV.
dougandandyfan Runeshaper 11 months ago
Since you like Happy Days do you Remember these Happy Days
Cast Members:
Moose :Barry Greenberg
Eugene Belvin:Denis Mandel
Melvin Belvin:Scott Bernstein
Bag Zombroski:Neil J Schwartz
Chuck Cunningham Gavan O'Herlihy
Chuck Cunningham 2 Randolph Roberts
Trudy :Tita Bell
Wendy :Misty Rowe
Marsha Simms:Beatrice Colen
Roger Phillips played by Ted McGinley
Spike played by Danny Butch
I hope that METV will return Happy
Days and Gomer Pyle USMC to their
Schedule.
Runeshaper dougandandyfan 11 months ago
I love Happy Days and I hope so too!
Runeshaper 11 months ago
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