Twenty years after its network cancellation in 1965, the classic suspense anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents returned in a full-color, half-hour format. The new version was part of an overall revival of the anthology genre, which also yielded such series as an updated Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, and Amazing Stories. Although creator-host Alfred Hitchcock had died five years before his series' resurrection, the producers managed to include Hitchcock as the "host" of each new episode by utilizing a somewhat ghoulish bit of technology: Hitch's introductions and epilogues were excerpted from the original, black-and-white Alfred Hitchcock Presents, then computer colorized. (One suspects that, wherever he was, The Master enjoy a good laugh over his digital return from the grave!) The series debuted over NBC on May 5, 1985, in the form of a two-hour TV movie, comprised of new adaptations of four vintage Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes. The series proper was launched on September 29, 1985, with a remake of "Revenge," the episode which had opened the original series way back in 1955. During its first season, the new Alfred Hitchcock Presents was made up almost exclusively of such remakes, among them "Breakdown," "The Jar" and "Road Hog," with only a handful of first-run stories. The primary difference between the first and second Alfred Hitchcock Presents were (of course) the casts, the preponderance of overt violence and special-effects trickery, and a frequent avoidance of those censor-coddling Hitchcock codas, in which he assured the viewers that the villain hadn't gotten away with his crimes even though all evidence indicated otherwise. Canceled by NBC after 26 episodes on May 11, 1986, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was brought back by cable's USA network beginning January 24, 1987, serving up 54 new installments over the next 18 months. Gradually, the "remakes" subsided, as more and more new material was utilized. Also, the USA version took even greater advantage of the lowered censorship standards of the 1980s than the NBC version had. The last first-run episode, which aired July 22, 1989, was "South by Southwest," an affectionate spoof of the entire Hitchcock canon.
by Hal Erickson synopsis