This series started life as "On Trial". It became so identified with its host that the title changed to "The Joseph Cotten Show - On Trial" on 1 February 1957. When the network ran rebroadcasts during the summer of 1958, the show's title became "The Joseph Cotten Show". When the series returned on CBS in 1959, that network retained the second season's title.

During 1959, the series served as a summer replacement show for "The Ann Sothern Show" with mostly new episodes.