Columbo (TV series)
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Columbo (TV series)

Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo
FormatTelevision movie
Police procedural
Created byRichard Levinson
William Link
StarringPeter Falk
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes69
List of episodesList of Columbo episodes
Executive producerPhilip Saltzman
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 x 73 minutes
39 x 98 minutes
Original channelNBC
Picture formatFilm
Audio formatMonaural
Stereophonic sound
First airedFebruary 20, 1968
Last airedJanuary 30, 2003

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'Columbo' is an American crime fiction TV series, starring Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo, a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. It was created by William Link and Richard Levinson. The show popularized the inverted detective story format. With the exception of a couple of special episodes with added twists, almost every episode began by showing the commission of the crime and its perpetrator, sometimes in a sympathetic light. Thus there is no "whodunit" element. The plot mainly revolves around how the perpetrator, whose guilt is known, would finally be exposed and arrested. The show's creator once referred to it as a "howcatchem".

The character first appeared in a 1960 episode of the television-anthology series The Chevy Mystery Show, which was itself partly derived from a short story by Levinson and Link published in an issue of the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine as 'Dear Corpus Delecti'. Levinson and Link adapted the TV drama into the stage play Prescription: Murder, and a TV-movie based on the play was broadcast in 1968. The series began on a Sunday presentation of the "NBC Mystery Movie" rotation: Quincy, M.E., McCloud, McMillan and Wife, and other whodunits. The series spawned a similar format on Wednesday nights with fare such as The Snoop Sisters, Hec Ramsey, and Banacek. Columbo aired regularly from 1971 to 1978 on NBC, and then more infrequently on ABC beginning in 1989. The most recent episode was broadcast in 2003.

Columbo is an scruffy-looking, Italian American detective who is often underestimated by his fellow officers and by the murderer du jour. Despite his appearance and superficial absentmindedness, he solves all of his cases and manages to come up with the evidence needed for indictment, thanks to his eye for detail and the meticulous and committed approach he brings to his work.

The episodes are all movie-length, between 75 and 100 minutes long, excluding commercials.

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Guest stars : Mrs. Columbo
Murderers Anthony Andrews, Eddie Albert, Richard Basehart, Anne Baxter, Gene Barry, Ed Begley, Jr., Theodore Bikel, Honor Blackman, Ian Buchanan, Stephen Caffrey, Johnny Cash, John Cassavetes, Jack Cassidy, Claudia Christian, Susan Clark, Dabney Coleman, Billy Connolly, Robert Conrad, Jackie Cooper, Robert Culp, Tyne Daly, Faye Dunaway, Dick Van Dyke, Hector Elizondo, José Ferrer, Ruth Gordon, Lee Grant, George Hamilton, Laurence Harvey, Louis Jourdan, Richard Kiley, Martin Landau (as identical twin brothers), Janet Leigh, Ross Martin, Roddy McDowall, Patrick McGoohan, Vera Miles, Ray Milland, Ricardo Montalban, Leonard Nimoy, Donald Pleasence, James Read, Clive Revill, Matthew Rhys, William Shatner, Helen Shaver, Fisher Stevens, Rip Torn, Trish Van Devere, Joyce Van Patten, Robert Vaughn, George Wendt, Oskar Werner, Nicol Williamson. Patrick McGoohan appeared in a record four episodes of Columbo. Robert Culp and Jack Cassidy both appeared three times as murderers. Culp appeared a fourth time as the father of a collegiate killer. Ray Milland, Dean Stockwell, George Hamilton, William Shatner and Robert Vaughn and Ed Begley, Jr. all appeared in two episodes. Hamilton and Shatner played the killer both times; Vaughn played both a killer and a victim, and Milland played both killer and the husband of the victim (Pat Crowley, killed by Culp). Begley played both an innocent third party and a killer. Coleman appeared as a murderer ("Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star") and in an earlier episode as a cop working on a case with Columbo ("Double Shock").
Victims Lola Albright, Richard Anderson, Sorrell Booke, Barbara Colby, Anjanette Comer, Pat Crowley, John Dehner, Bradford Dillman, Greg Evigan, Joel Fabiani, Nina Foch, Anne Francis, Charles Frank, Will Geer, Leslie Nielsen, James Gregory, Deidre Hall, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Sam Jaffe, John Kerr, Jack Kruschen, Ida Lupino, Chuck McCann, Rue McClanahan, Martin Milner, Rosemary Murphy, Tim O'Connor, Nehemiah Persoff, Martha Scott, Pippa Scott, Martin Sheen, Tom Simcox, Mickey Spillane, Dean Stockwell, Forrest Tucker, Robert Vaughn, Lesley Ann Warren, John Williams, Jeff Yagher. Ida Lupino appeared twice, once as a victim and once as the spouse of a victim. Leslie Nielsen appeared twice, once as the victim and once as the boyfriend of the murderer. Barbara Colby, a newcomer, played a victim, albeit not the intended victim, but rather a potential blackmailer who is killed for that reason. Sian Barbara Allen and Chuck McCann's characters were also killed (in separate episodes) for attempting blackmail.

Recurring actors/roles :
DVD name Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete First Season 9 September 7, 2004 September 13, 2004 December 3, 2004
The Complete Second Season 8 March 8, 2005 July 18, 2005 July 13, 2005
The Complete Third Season 8 August 9, 2005 November 14, 2005 July 20, 2006
The Complete Fourth Season 6 March 14, 2006 September 18, 2006 September 19, 2006
The Complete Fifth Season 6 June 27, 2006 February 12, 2007 Unknown 2007
The Complete Sixth & Seventh Seasons 8 November 21, 2006 April 30, 2007 May 2, 2007
The Mystery Movie Collection 1989 (R1)
The Complete Eighth Season (R2)
5 (R1)
4 (R2)
April 24, 2007 March 31, 2008 June 4, 2008
The Mystery Movie Collection 1990 (R1)
The Complete Ninth Season (R2/4)
6 (R1)
6 (R2)
February 3, 2009 March 30, 2009 May 6, 2009
The Tenth Season - Volume 1 (R2)
The Tenth Season - Volume 2 (R2)
N/A June 15, 2009
July 27, 2009
Seasons 1 - 4 31 N/A November 20, 2006 N/A
Seasons 1 - 7 45 N/A October 22, 2007 N/A
Seasons 1 - 8 49 N/A October 13, 2008 N/A
Columbo: The Complete Series N/A October 19, 2009 N/A

Recurring actors/roles :
Arab World Columbo
Subtitled MBC 2 Not currently airing
Argentina Columbo
Dubbed Retro
Australia Columbo
None TV1
Austria Columbo
Dubbed ORF1
Subtitled vtm, VijfTV
Dubbed RTBF, RTL-TVi, AB4
Bulgaria Коломбо (Columbo)
Dubbed Fox Crime
Dubbed in Bulgarian
Canada Columbo
None Sun TV (Canada) Shown in rotation with the other "NBC Mystery Movies"
Canada Columbo
Dubbed Prise 2 Dubbed in French
Catalonia (Spain) Colombo
Dubbed TVC and 8tv (currently)
Croatia Columbo
Subtitled HRT, RTL Televizija
Czech Republic Columbo
Dubbed TV Nova
TV Prima
Denmark Columbo
Subtitled DR2
Finland Columbo
Subtitled MTV
France Columbo
Dubbed TF1
TV Breizh
Galicia Colombo
Dubbed TVG
Germany Columbo
Dubbed Super RTL the show was originally broadcast on Das Erste (access prime time), later on RTL (prime time)
Hungary Columbo
Dubbed Magyar Televízió
Iran ستوان کلمبو
(Lieutenant Columbo)
Dubbed Channel 1 شبكه’ يك The 1971-1978 series was broadcast by Channel 1
Republic of Ireland Columbo
None RTÉ One
Israel קולומבו
Subtitled Channel 1
Israel 10
Italy Colombo
Dubbed Rai Due
Rete 4
Fox Crime
Rai Due (first tv: 1968 film tv and 1971-1978 series; except pilot and the episodes 2.1, 2.4, 3.8 transmitted in first tv in the 1987 from Rete 4), Rete 4 (first tv: 1989-2003 series, now replicate all the episodes of both series), Fox Crime (pay tv, replicate all the episodes)
Japan 刑事コロンボ
(Detective Columbo)
Subtitled/Dubbed NHK
Super Channel
The Mystery Channel
Netherlands Columbo
Subtitled RTL 4
Norway Columbo
Subtitled NRK1
Pakistan Columbo
Dubbed Shalimar Television Network
Poland Columbo
Dubbed TVP
Slovakia Columbo
Dubbed TV Markíza
Czech-dubbed version used as there is no Slovak dubbing
Slovenia Columbo
Subtitled Kanal A, POP TV
Portugal Columbo
Subtitled RTP1
Subtitled/Dubbed Antena 1
Russia Коломбо (Columbo)
Dubbed Channel One Currently airing in Domashniy
Spain Colombo
Dubbed TVE
Currently airing in laOtra
Sweden Columbo
Subtitled SVT, TV3, TV4 Guld
Switzerland Columbo
Dubbed Télévision Suisse Romande the show is still shown on Télévision Suisse Romande, a French language Swiss TV channel in Zweikanalton (French/English)
Turkey Komiser Kolombo
(Lieutenant Columbo)
Dubbed TRT 1
Ukraine Коломбо
Dubbed Inter, STB, Ukraina
None ITV
Hallmark Channel
Movies 24
Sky Movies
The show was originally broadcast on ITV. Nowadays the main series is shown on ITV3, BBC Two, Five, UKTV Gold and the Hallmark Channel while the TV movies are shown on ITV, Movies 24 and Sky Movies. It was also broadcast on UKTV Gold.

Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series � Drama

Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969) * Medical Center (1970) * Mannix (1971) * Columbo (1972) * The Waltons (1973) * Upstairs, Downstairs (1974) * Kojak (1975) * Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) * Roots (1977) * 60 Minutes (1978) * Lou Grant (1979) * Shōgun (1980) * Hill Street Blues (1981) * Hill Street Blues (1982) * Dynasty (1983) * Murder, She Wrote (1984) * Murder, She Wrote (1985) * L.A. Law (1986) * L.A. Law (1987) * thirtysomething (1988) * China Beach (1989) ---- Complete List * (1969-1989) * (1990-present)

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