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Columbo Encyclopedia   - Sent to us by Ted Kerin

From "The Complete Directory to Prime TimeNetwork TV Shows,


By Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh - Fifth Edition, 1992


Police Drama

First Telecast September 15, 1971 - LAST TELECAST: August 19, 1990


Sep 1971 - Sep 1972, NBC Wed 8:30-10:00
Sep 1972 - Jul 1974, NBC Sun 8:30-10:00
Aug 1974 - Aug 1975, NBC Sun 8:30-10:30
Sep 1975 - Sep 1976, NBC Sun 9:00-11:00
Oct 1976 - Sep 1977, NBC Sun 8:00-10:00
Feb 1989 - May 1989, ABC Mon 9:00-11:00
Aug 1989 - Jul 1990, ABC Sat 9:00-11:00
Aug 1996 -   ABC Sun 900:-11:00

Lt. Columbo.......Peter Falk

In 1989, more than a decade after the original series ended, Falk returned with some new Columbo films for the ABC Mystery Movie. Nothing had changed,and in fact the writers had begun to tease viewers about the series little gimmicks.
In an episode in which Mrs. Columbo's murder was faked, the missus was never actually seen in person, only referred to. She was never seen in the
original series either, even though there was a spin-off series called Mrs. Columbo.

An interesting sidelight is that Peter Falk was the producers second choice to portray Columbo. The first actor approached for the role was Bing Crosby. Crosby, 67 years old and a millionaire many times over, declined, reportedly because it would interfere with his golf game. And so Falk got the part, and stardom.

From "The Complete Directory To Prime Time
Network TV Shows, 1946-Present," by Brooks and Marsh


Picture from: The Columbo Phile by Mark Dawidziak

Detective Drama

FIRST TELECAST: February 26, 1979
LAST TELECAST: December 6, 1979


Feb 1979, NBC Mon 9:00-10:00
Mar 1979, NBC Thu 10:00-11:00
Aug 1979-Dec 1979, NBC Thu 10:00-11:00

Kate Columbo/Callahan Kate Mulgrew

Jenny Columbo/Callahan . Lili Haydn
Josh Alden . Henry Tones
Sgt Mike Varrick . Don Stroud

One of the biggest hits of the early l970s was Columbo, the disheveled detective who always got his man. He often mentioned his wife ("the missus), but she was never seen. Columbo finally ran its course, but the producers, unwilling to let a good [and profitable] idea die, decided to concoct a Mrs. Columbo who was also a sleuth, on a show of her own. Kate Columbo was the mother of a seven-year-old daughter and, to avoid the monotony of housework, a reporter for The Valley Advocate, a suburban weekly newspaper edited by crusty old Josh Alden. It may seem a little farfetched, but working for the paper somehow
got Kate involved in numerous murder mysteries, all of which she solved in much the same manner of her celebrated spouse.

After a mixed reception in early 1979, the series underwent two title changes, from the original Kate Columbo, to Kate The Detective, to Kate Loves a Mystery. The producers apparently felt that tying Kate to Columbo had been a mistake,
so they gave her a new last name, Callahan, and all references to a husband were dropped. She still worked at the paper, and Sgt. Varrick was
added to the cast as her contact on the police force. It didn't help, and the program was can- celed by early December.


Police/Detective Drama

FIRST TELECAST: September 15, 1971

LAST TELECAST: September 4, 1977


Sep 1971-Jan 1974, NBC Wed 8:30-10:00
Sep 1972-Sep 1974, NBC Sun 8:30-10:00
Jan 1974-Sep 1974, NBC Tue 8:30-10:00
Sep 1974-Sep 1975, NBC Sun 8:30-10:30
Sep 1975-Sep 1976, NBC Sun 9:00-11:00
Oct 1976-Apr 1977, NBC Sun Various times
May 1977-Sep 1977, NBC Sun 8:00-9:30

The NBC Mystery Movie was an umbrella title used to cover a number of rotating series that appeared in the same time slot on different weeks. The first Mystery Movie series premiered in 1971 on Wednesday nights, and included Columbo,
McCloud (Dennis Weaver), and McMillan and Wife (Rock Hudson, Susan St James), three series that had considerable success over the years.

Due to the popularity of the Mystery Movie concept in the 1971=1972 season, NBC decided to try another one. The three original elements were
moved to Sunday night (retitled The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie) and three new ones were introduced on Wednesday, under the new blanket title The NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie. However, Madigan(Richard Widmark), Cool Million (James Farentino), and Banacek (George Peppard) were not as successful as their predecessors, nor were any of the elements that were subsequently tried. Follow- ing is a listing of all the various Mystery Movie elements aired over the years. Details on each will be found under their separate title headings.

Mystery Movie
(Wed.): Columbo, McCloud, McMillan and Wife

Sunday Mystery Movie:
Columbo, McCloud, McMillan, Hec Ramsey (Richard Boone)

Wednesday Mystery Movie:
Madigan, Cool Million, Banacek

Sunday Mystery Movie
Columbo, McCloud, McMillan, Hec Ramsey

Wednesday Mystery Movie:
Madigan, Tenafly (James McEachin), Faraday &
Company (Dan Dailey, James Naughton, Sharon Gless),
The Snoop Sisters (Helen Hayes, Mildred Natwick).

(Series moved to Tuesday effective January
1972, retitled NBC Tuesday Mystery Movie.)

Sunday Mystery Movie:
Columbo, McCloud, McMillan, Amy Prentiss (Jessica Walter, Helen Hunt)

Sunday Mystery Movie:
Columbo, McCloud, McMillan, McCoy (Tony Curtis, Roscoe Lee Browne)

Sunday Mystery Movie
Columbo, McCloud, McMillan, Quincy, M.E. (Jack Klugman)
to December, 1976; effective January 1977, Lanigan's Rabbi ((Art Carney)

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