Suspense (American TV series)

Suspense is an American television anthology series that ran on CBS Television from 1949 to 1954. It was adapted from the radio program of the same name which ran from 1942 to 1962.

Romney Brent in the episode
"A Cask on Amontillado" (1949)
GenreAnthology drama
Directed byRobert Mulligan (1952-54)
Byron Paul (1953)
John Peyser (1950)
Robert Stevens (1949-52)
Presented byRex Marshall
Composer(s)Henry (Hank) Sylvern
Bernard Herrmann
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes260
Executive producer(s)William Dozier (1953)
Producer(s)Robert Stevens (1949-52)
John Peyser (1950)
Martin Manulis (1952-54)
David Heilweil (1954)
Running time25 min. (1949 pilot episode)
30 min. (March 1, 1949-Aug. 17, 1954)
Original networkCBS
Picture format4:3 Black-and-white
Audio formatMono
Original release6 January 1949 
17 August 1954

Series overview

Like many early television programs, the show was broadcast live from New York City. It was sponsored by the Auto-Lite corporation, and each episode was introduced by host Rex Marshall, who promoted Auto-Lite spark plugs, car batteries, headlights, and other car parts.

Some of the early scripts were adapted from Suspense radio scripts, while others were original for television. Like the radio program, many scripts were adaptations of literary classics by well-known authors. Classic authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Charles Dickens all had stories adapted for the series, while contemporary authors such as Roald Dahl and Gore Vidal also contributed. Many notable actors appeared on the program, including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Cloris Leachman, Brian Keith, Franchot Tone, Robert Emhardt, Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, and many more.

The program was a live television series, but most episodes were recorded on kinescope. However, only 90 of the 260 episodes survive today. The rest were destroyed and no longer exist in any format.[1]


Season 1

No. in
No. in
Title Guest Stars Original air date
1 1 Goodbye New York Meg Mundy January 6, 1949
2 2 Revenge Eddie Albert
March 1, 1949
3 3 Suspicion Ernest Truex
Sylvia Field
Ruth McDevitt
March 15, 1949
4 4 Cabin B-13 Charles Korvin
Eleanor Lynn
March 29, 1949
5 5 The Man Upstairs Mildred Natwick
Anthony Ross
April 5, 1949
6 6 After Dinner Story Otto Kruger April 12, 1949
7 7 The Creeper Nina Foch
Anthony Ross
April 19, 1949
8 8 A Night at an Inn Boris Karloff
Anthony Ross
Jack Manning
Barry Macollum
Joan Stanley
April 26, 1949
9 9 Dead Ernest Margaret Phillips
Tod Andrews
Will Hare
Patricia Jenkins
May 3, 1949
10 10 Post Mortem Sidney Blackmer
Peggy Conklin
Richard Coogan
Julian Noa
May 10 1949
11 11 The Monkey's Paw Boris Karloff
Mildred Natwick
May 17, 1949
12 12 Murder Through the Looking Glass William Prince
Peter von Zerneck
May 24, 1949
13 13 The Doors on the Thirteenth Floor Louisa Horton Hill
Anthony Ross
Russell Collins
Nell Harrison
Douglass Watson
May 31, 1949
14 14 The Yellow Scarf Boris Karloff
Felicia Montealegre
Russell Collins
Douglass Watson
June 7, 1949
15 15 Help Wanted Otto Kruger
D.A. Clarke-Smith
Peggy French
George Mathews
Ruth McDevitt
June 14, 1949
16 16 Stolen Empire Audrey Christie
Ken Lynch
June 21, 1949
17 17 The Hands of Mr. Ottermole Ralph Bell June 28, 1949


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