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Smaller Screen, Bigger Brand: Hosting “Hitchcock”
The chapter focuses on Hitchcock’s career moves after his contract with Selznick expired in 1946 up to the television engagement in 1955, which was spearheaded by his agency MCA and Lew Wassermann. In analyzing the television’s key elements, the paratexts (prologues and epilogues featuring Hitchcock) are as important as the teleplays. Here the host’s malleable identity was played around with in addition to the weekly feud with the sponsor’s intrusive commercials—Bristol-Myers owned the show for the initial seasons and was in turned represented by Young & Rubicam. Hitchcock’s televisual demeanor was decidedly English, and among the figures that served as models for the hosting was the dandy, mainly as a contrast. Jimmie Allardice authored all the paratexts for the television series in addition to many of Hitchcock’s talks. He also scripted several film trailers. His role is discussed as a critical aspect of the Hitchcock discourse.