The George Sanders Mystery Theater

(1957, NBC) (aka "Mystery Writers Theater" in syndication) THE GEORGE SANDERS MYSTERY THEATER was a thirty-minute mystery drama series, aired as a summer replacement series. It was hosted by Sanders (The Falcon!), who would introduce stories adapted from the works of members of the Mystery Writers of America--while wandering around the MWA's "club." Or at … Continue reading The George Sanders Mystery Theater

The NBC Mystery Movie

Television Anthology Series (1971-77, NBC) The NBC Mystery Movie was a "wheel show", airing several programs within the same period throughout the season. In its first season, 1971–72, it featured McCloud, McMillan & Wife and, most famously, Columbo, by far its more successful of the series, although each of the initial three lasted the entire run. After that … Continue reading The NBC Mystery Movie

The ABC Mystery Movie

Television Anthology Series (1989-90, ABC) The ABC Mystery Movie (aka "The ABC Monday Mystery Movie") was a short-lived attempt to revive the mystery wheel format pioneered by NBC from 1971-77 on The NBC  Mystery Movie. It even revived the show's most successful series, Columbo, with Peter Falk returning in the title role. They also added two … Continue reading The ABC Mystery Movie

The NBC Friday Night Mystery

Television Anthology Series (1993-95, NBC) In the fall of 1993, NBC made a valiant attempt to revive the mystery wheel format it had first introduced way back in 1971 with The NBC Mystery Movie, which had given the world such memorable series as McMillan and Wife, Banacek, and Columbo, among others. But this version was much … Continue reading The NBC Friday Night Mystery


Television Anthology Series PURSUIT was a short-lived American television anthology series from CBS, focussing on crime and suspense stories about people being  pursued by others. The airwaves at the time were crowded with similar shows, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Suspicion or Kraft Mystery Theatre, and Pursuit didn't stay around for too long, only airing twelve episodes. … Continue reading Pursuit


Television Anthology Series Suspicion was a short-lived American television anthology series from NBC that only lasted one season, and focussed mostly (but not exclusively) on murder and mystery stories, with many of the episodes filmed live. The executive producer of ten of the filmed episodes was film director Alfred Hitchcock, and he even directed the … Continue reading Suspicion

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

(1955-65, CBS, NBC) ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (and later, THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR, when the format changed to 60 minutes) was a very popular American television anthology series that was hosted and produced by Alfred Hitchcock; which bounced back and forth between CBS and NBC during its amazing ten year run. It featured dramas, thrillers, and … Continue reading Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Mystery! (aka “Masterpiece Theatre,” “Masterpiece Mystery”)

Public Broadcast, Private Eyes (1980-2006) Lord knows, the American public broadcasting network wasn't exactly known for its tough, gritty fare. Nope, its flagship crime anthology series MYSTERY! (and Masterpiece Theatre from which it sprang) have been mostly aimed at American Anglophiles of a certain class, and as such it's been largely domestics and cozies, featuring assorted Lord … Continue reading Mystery! (aka “Masterpiece Theatre,” “Masterpiece Mystery”)

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (Television Series)

Television Series This fondly remembered British television anthology series featured adaptations of short mystery stories featuring some of the literary contemporaries of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, inspired by the popular series of Rivals of Sherlock Holmes anthologies by Hugh Greene. The show was produced by Thames Television and originally aired on ITV in Britain. The first … Continue reading The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (Television Series)

Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse

Television Anthology Series WESTINGHOUSE DESILU PLAYHOUSE was an American television anthology series produced by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Desilu Productions. It ran on the Columbia Broadcasting System between 1958 and 1960, and was hosted byy Betty Furness in the first season, and Desi Arnaz in the second. Stories came from several genres, but there … Continue reading Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse