Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 06 (1960)

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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

After five seasons on CBS' Sunday-night roster, the suspense anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents moved to a new network, NBC, and a new night, Tuesday, for its sixth season on the air. NBC hoped to utilize the Hitchcock show as a strong lead-in for its new anthology, Thriller, hosted by Boris Karloff. The season opener, directed by Alfred Hitchcock himself from a story by Roald Dahl, is "Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat," an ironic fable of infidelity starring a decidedly post-Honeymooners Audrey Meadows. The only other Hitchcock-directed episode this season is "The Horse Player," an uncharacteristically sentimental morality play featuring Claude Rains and Ed Gardner, former star-creator of radio's Duffy's Tavern. Season six provided ample opportunity for Hitch's stable of TV directors to flex their creative muscles. Paul Henreid and John Brahm continued turning out above-average work, while Norman Lloyd contributed two of the season's best entries: "The Conquest for Aaron Gold," featuring future director Sydney Pollack in a pivotal role, and "O, Youth & Beauty," one of the earliest TV adaptations of a John Cheever story. Newcomers to the series' directorial lineup include actress Ida Lupino, guiding another specialist in "hard-boiled dame" roles; Claire Trevor, through her paces in "A Crime for Mothers"; stylish B-picture stalwart Robert Florey, whose "Summer Shade" features a young James Franciscus; and Alf Kjellin, once a leading actor in the Scandinavian film industry and later a prolific director on such 1960s series as I Spy, who this season helmed the superb Alfred Hitchcock episode "Coming Home." While Alfred Hitchcock Presents held on to its fan base during it sixth season, the change of network and time slot didn't do its ratings much good -- the series languished opposite such sure-fire audience magnets as Dobie Gillis and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.