CBS (ended 1954)


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Suspense was one of network television's earliest series and, like many of the medium's first efforts, was adapted from a long-running radio program. Episodes began with a ominous off-camera voice announcing, "And now, a tale well calculated to keep you in...Suspense!" With a few exceptions, this anthology was not an outright "horror" program (as was Lights Out or Inner Sanctum) but was designed to put characters in dangerous or threatening situations that built to a suspenseful climax. The somewhat low-budget series was performed live each week so it had its share of flubbed lines and technical snafus and episodes were generally confined to a couple of minimal sets. Suspense, however, made up for these shortcomings with inventive writing and a cavalcade of top-notch actors, some already established and many up-and-coming future stars. The program was rather highly regarded for it's overall quality (for the time) and the calibre of it's scripts. Like practically all of TV's earliest live series, Suspense was never rerun, preserved only on kinescope films to be shown in markets not able to air network programs live from New York. Most episodes were considered lost but, as luck would have it, a huge cache of Suspense programs were "discovered" and released on DVD in 2007.moreless