The spirit of master storyteller and filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock will be revived once again in a new TV series under development, says Universal Cable Productions (UCP) in a new press release. UCP has created a deal with the Alfred Hitchcock Estate and Vermilion Entertainment to create Welcome to Hitchcock, an original anthology series similar in tone to the classic Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
“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,” explained Dawn Olmstead, Executive Vice President of Development, Universal Cable Productions. “We’re honored that the Hitchcock Estate has put its trust in our studio to pay homage to his work.”
Each episode of the original Alfred Hitchcock Presents series featured a different story with a different director that tried to emulate Hitchcock’s style. These directors included Hitchcock himself, George Stevens Jr., Arthur Hiller, Stuart Rosenberg, Robert Stevenson, Robert Altman, and others. This new series will do the same, but it will focus on a single season-long mystery or crime story done in the classic Hitchcock style.
“Our grandfather always collaborated with the best and the brightest to help shape his vision,” stated Katie O’Connell-Fiala on behalf of the Hitchcock Trust and MTK Corporation, which was founded by O’Connell-Fiala and her sisters, Mary O’Connell-Stone and Tere O’Connell-Carrubba. “We’re confident that Universal Cable Productions will take great care in helping us to continue preserving his legacy.”
Director Chris Columbus will serve as a producer for Welcome to Hitchcock, Vermilion’s first project for scripted television, and will also direct the pilot episode.
The creator of such powerful and popular films Psycho, Rear Window, Rebecca, and The Birds, Hitchcock is known for saying, “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.” His first film, Blackmail, was created in 1929 and is said to be the first British “talkie” film, according to Biography. In 1939, he left England for Hollywood. Before then, he created such classics as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) and The 39 Steps (1935). His first film in America was Rebecca in 1940, which won an Oscar for Best Picture.
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In 1955, Hitchcock created Alfred Hitchcock Presents, where he presented a greeting and end comment for each episode. The show ran for five years on CBS before moving to NBC for two, then back to CBS again for three more and back to NBC for the show’s final two. The show was revived in 1985, five years after his death, with colorized introductions by Hitchcock from the original series but featured new stories. It was shown on NBC for two years before moving to the U.S. from 1987 to 1989.
Alfred Hitchcock directed more than 50 feature films in his 60-year career, and he made an uncredited cameo appearance in almost all of them. Over his lifetime, he received 50 Academy Award nominations from 16 of his movies but only won once. His last film was 1976’s Family Plot.
Released in 1960, Psycho remains one of Hitchcock’s most profitable films. Two sequels were produced after his death (Psycho II in 1983 and Psycho III in 1986) and a fourth (Psycho IV: The Beginning) was created for TV in 1990. In 1987, NBC produced the pilot Bates Motel (focusing on events that happened after the first two sequels) but the show was never picked up, but another series featuring the same name (focusing on the events that led up to Psycho) was created for A&E in 2014. In 1998, director Gus Van Sant set out to do a frame-by-frame remake of Psycho in color which received mixed review and low box office sales.
[Featured Image by Bob Dear/AP Images]