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List of Columbo episodes

  (Redirected from Columbo episodes)

The following is an episode list for the crime fiction television series Columbo. After two pilot episodes, the show originally aired on NBC from 1971 to 1978 as one of the rotating programs of The NBC Mystery Movie. Columbo then aired less frequently on ABC beginning in 1989. The last installment was broadcast in 2003.

Because the Columbo episodes from 1989 to 2003 aired infrequently, different DVD sets have been released around the world. In Region 2 and 4, all episodes have now been released as 10 seasons, with the 10th season covering the last 14 shows from "Columbo Goes to College" (1990) to the most recent, "Columbo Likes the Nightlife" (2003).[1][2] However, in France, and The Netherlands (also Region 2) the DVDs were released as 12 seasons.[3] And in Region 1, all episodes from season 8 are grouped differently; all the episodes that are originally aired on ABC were released as the COLUMBO: The Mystery Movie Collections.[4] For the sake of clarity, all episodes in this article are arranged as they appear in the UK release.

Contents

Series overviewEdit

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired Network
Pilots 2 February 20, 1968 (1968-02-20) March 1, 1971 (1971-03-01) NBC
1 7 September 15, 1971 (1971-09-15) February 9, 1972 (1972-02-09)
2 8 September 17, 1972 (1972-09-17) March 25, 1973 (1973-03-25)
3 8 September 23, 1973 (1973-09-23) May 5, 1974 (1974-05-05)
4 6 September 15, 1974 (1974-09-15) April 27, 1975 (1975-04-27)
5 6 September 14, 1975 (1975-09-14) May 2, 1976 (1976-05-02)
6 3 October 10, 1976 (1976-10-10) May 22, 1977 (1977-05-22)
7 5 November 21, 1977 (1977-11-21) May 13, 1978 (1978-05-13)
8 4 February 6, 1989 (1989-02-06) May 1, 1989 (1989-05-01) ABC
9 6 November 25, 1989 (1989-11-25) May 14, 1990 (1990-05-14)
10 + specials 14 December 9, 1990 (1990-12-09) January 30, 2003 (2003-01-30)

EpisodesEdit

Pilot episodesEdit

Before Peter Falk was cast in the role of Columbo, Bert Freed played the character in "Enough Rope", a 1960 episode of The Chevy Mystery Show, a TV anthology series. In 1962, that episode became a stage play titled "Prescription: Murder" (starring Thomas Mitchell as Columbo).

The play was adapted as a made-for-TV movie in 1968, with Falk debuting in the role. In this pilot episode, Columbo—rather than making the rumpled presentation that would later become the character's trademark—is less shabbily dressed, wearing suits, shorter hair, and heavier stage makeup. He carries a raincoat, which would become a staple, during some scenes. He also appears somewhat more aggressive when confronting suspects.

No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim played by Original air date Length
1 "Prescription: Murder" Richard Irving Richard Levinson & William Link
based on their play
Gene Barry Nina Foch February 20, 1968 (1968-02-20) 98 minutes

Dr. Ray Fleming (Gene Barry), a psychiatrist, murders his wife (Nina Foch) and persuades his mistress Joan Hudson (Katherine Justice), who is an actress and one of his patients, to support his alibi by impersonating her.

Final clue/twist: Knowing that he has no hard evidence against Fleming, Columbo stages the suicide of his desperate mistress. Fleming shows no sign of emotion and even suggests that if he were the murderer, he would have gotten rid of Joan anyway. Hearing it, the alive Joan testifies against Fleming.
2 "Ransom for a Dead Man" Richard Irving Story by : Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Dean Hargrove
Lee Grant Harlan Warde March 1, 1971 (1971-03-01) 92 minutes

Leslie Williams (Lee Grant), a brilliant and ruthless lawyer, murders her husband Paul (Harlan Warde) to get his money, arranging the act to look as if he had been kidnapped and killed by his captors.

Final clue/twist: Margaret (Patricia Mattick), who hates her stepmother Leslie, successfully works with Columbo to get Leslie to implicate herself by revealing where she is keeping the cash ransom with which she absconded.

Season 1 (1971–72)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim(s) played by Original air date Runtime
3 1 "Murder by the Book" Steven Spielberg Steven Bochco Jack Cassidy Martin Milner, Barbara Colby September 15, 1971 (1971-09-15) 73 minutes
4 2 "Death Lends a Hand" Bernard L. Kowalski Richard Levinson & William Link Robert Culp Pat Crowley October 6, 1971 (1971-10-06) 73 minutes
5 3 "Dead Weight" Jack Smight John T. Dugan Eddie Albert John Kerr October 27, 1971 (1971-10-27) 73 minutes
6 4 "Suitable for Framing" Hy Averback Jackson Gillis Ross Martin Robert Shayne, Rosanna Huffman November 17, 1971 (1971-11-17) 73 minutes
7 5 "Lady in Waiting" Norman Lloyd Story by : Barney Slater
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco
Susan Clark Richard Anderson December 15, 1971 (1971-12-15) 73 minutes
8 6 "Short Fuse" Edward M. Abrams Story by : Lester Pine & Tina Pine and Jackson Gillis
Teleplay by : Jackson Gillis
Roddy McDowall James Gregory and Lawrence Cook January 19, 1972 (1972-01-19) 73 minutes
9 7 "Blueprint for Murder" Peter Falk Story by : William Kelley
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco
Patrick O'Neal Forrest Tucker February 9, 1972 (1972-02-09) 73 minutes


Season 2 (1972–73)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim(s) played by Original air date Runtime
10 1 "Étude in Black" Nicholas Colasanto Story by : Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco
John Cassavetes Anjanette Comer September 17, 1972 (1972-09-17) 98 minutes
11 2 "The Greenhouse Jungle" Boris Sagal Jonathan Latimer Ray Milland Bradford Dillman October 15, 1972 (1972-10-15) 73 minutes
12 3 "The Most Crucial Game" Jeremy Kagan John T. Dugan Robert Culp Dean Stockwell November 5, 1972 (1972-11-05) 73 minutes
13 4 "Dagger of the Mind" Richard Quine Story by : Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Jackson Gillis
Richard Basehart and Honor Blackman John Williams, Wilfrid Hyde-White November 26, 1972 (1972-11-26) 93 minutes
14 5 "Requiem for a Falling Star" Richard Quine Jackson Gillis Anne Baxter Pippa Scott January 21, 1973 (1973-01-21) 73 minutes
15 6 "A Stitch in Crime" Hy Averback Shirl Hendryx Leonard Nimoy Anne Francis, Jared Martin February 11, 1973 (1973-02-11) 73 minutes
16 7 "The Most Dangerous Match" Edward M. Abroms Story by : Jackson Gillis and Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Jackson Gillis
Laurence Harvey Jack Kruschen March 4, 1973 (1973-03-04) 73 minutes
17 8 "Double Shock" Robert Butler Story by : Jackson Gillis and Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco
Martin Landau in a dual role Paul Stewart, Julie Newmar March 25, 1973 (1973-03-25) 73 minutes


Season 3 (1973–74)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim(s) played by Original air date Runtime
18 1 "Lovely But Lethal" Jeannot Szwarc Story by : Myrna Bercovici
Teleplay by : Jackson Gillis
Vera Miles Martin Sheen, Sian Barbara Allen September 23, 1973 (1973-09-23) 73 minutes
19 2 "Any Old Port in a Storm" Leo Penn Story by : Larry Cohen
Teleplay by : Stanley Ralph Ross
Donald Pleasence Gary Conway October 7, 1973 (1973-10-07) 98 minutes
20 3 "Candidate for Crime" Boris Sagal Story by : Larry Cohen
Teleplay by : Irving Pearlberg & Alvin R. Friedman and Roland Kibbee & Dean Hargrove
Jackie Cooper Ken Swofford November 4, 1973 (1973-11-04) 98 minutes
21 4 "Double Exposure" Richard Quine Stephen J. Cannell Robert Culp Robert Middleton, Chuck McCann December 16, 1973 (1973-12-16) 73 minutes
22 5 "Publish or Perish" Robert Butler Peter S. Fischer Jack Cassidy and John Chandler Mickey Spillane, John Chandler January 13, 1974 (1974-01-13) 73 minutes
23 6 "Mind Over Mayhem" Alf Kjellin Story by : Robert Specht
Teleplay by : Steven Bochco and Dean Hargrove & Roland Kibbee
José Ferrer Lew Ayres February 10, 1974 (1974-02-10) 73 minutes
24 7 "Swan Song" Nicholas Colasanto Story by : Stanley Ralph Ross
Teleplay by : David Rayfiel
Johnny Cash Ida Lupino, Bonnie Van Dyke March 3, 1974 (1974-03-03) 94 minutes
25 8 "A Friend in Deed" Ben Gazzara Peter S. Fischer Richard Kiley and Michael McGuire Rosemary Murphy and an uncredited actress May 5, 1974 (1974-05-05) 94 minutes


Season 4 (1974–75)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim(s) played by Original air date Runtime
26 1 "An Exercise in Fatality" Bernard L. Kowalski Story by : Larry Cohen
Teleplay by : Peter S. Fischer
Robert Conrad Philip Bruns September 15, 1974 (1974-09-15) 94 minutes
27 2 "Negative Reaction" Alf Kjellin Peter S. Fischer Dick Van Dyke Antoinette Bower, Don Gordon October 6, 1974 (1974-10-06) 92 minutes
28 3 "By Dawn's Early Light" Harvey Hart Howard Berk Patrick McGoohan Tom Simcox October 27, 1974 (1974-10-27) 94 minutes
29 4 "Troubled Waters" Ben Gazzara Story by : Jackson Gillis and William Driskill
Teleplay by : William Driskill
Robert Vaughn Poupée Bocar February 9, 1975 (1975-02-09) 94 minutes
30 5 "Playback" Bernard L. Kowalski David P. Lewis & Booker T. Bradshaw Oskar Werner Martha Scott March 2, 1975 (1975-03-02) 73 minutes
31 6 "A Deadly State of Mind" Harvey Hart Peter S. Fischer George Hamilton Stephen Elliott, Lesley Ann Warren April 27, 1975 (1975-04-27) 73 minutes


Season 5 (1975–76)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim(s) played by Original air date Runtime
32 1 "Forgotten Lady" Harvey Hart William Driskill Janet Leigh Sam Jaffe September 14, 1975 (1975-09-14) 92 minutes
33 2 "A Case of Immunity" Ted Post Story by : James Menzies
Teleplay by : Lou Shaw
Hector Elizondo André Lawrence and Sal Mineo October 12, 1975 (1975-10-12) 73 minutes
34 3 "Identity Crisis" Patrick McGoohan William Driskill Patrick McGoohan Leslie Nielsen November 2, 1975 (1975-11-02) 94 minutes
35 4 "A Matter of Honor" Ted Post Brad Radnitz Ricardo Montalban Robert Carricart February 1, 1976 (1976-02-01) 73 minutes
36 5 "Now You See Him..." Harvey Hart Michael Sloan Jack Cassidy Nehemiah Persoff February 29, 1976 (1976-02-29) 85 minutes
37 6 "Last Salute to the Commodore" Patrick McGoohan Jackson Gillis Fred Draper John Dehner and Robert Vaughn May 2, 1976 (1976-05-02) 98 minutes


Season 6 (1976–77)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim(s) played by Original air date Runtime
38 1 "Fade in to Murder" Bernard L. Kowalski Story by : Henry Garson
Teleplay by : Lou Shaw and Peter S. Feibleman
William Shatner Lola Albright October 10, 1976 (1976-10-10) 73 minutes
39 2 "Old Fashioned Murder" Robert Douglas Story by : Lawrence Vail
Teleplay by : Peter S. Feibleman
Joyce Van Patten Peter S. Feibleman and Tim O'Connor November 28, 1976 (1976-11-28) 73 minutes
40 3 "The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case" Sam Wanamaker Robert Malcolm Young Theodore Bikel Sorrell Booke May 22, 1977 (1977-05-22) 73 minutes


Season 7 (1977–78)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim played by Original air date Runtime
41 1 "Try and Catch Me" James Frawley Story by : Gene Thompson
Teleplay by : Gene Thompson & Paul Tuckahoe
Ruth Gordon Charles Frank November 21, 1977 (1977-11-21) 70 minutes
42 2 "Murder Under Glass" Jonathan Demme Robert van Scoyk Louis Jourdan Michael V. Gazzo January 30, 1978 (1978-01-30) 73 minutes
43 3 "Make Me a Perfect Murder" James Frawley Robert Blees Trish Van Devere Laurence Luckinbill February 25, 1978 (1978-02-25) 94 minutes
44 4 "How to Dial a Murder" James Frawley Story by : Anthony Lawrence
Teleplay by : Tom Lazarus
Nicol Williamson Joel Fabiani April 15, 1978 (1978-04-15) 70 minutes
45 5 "The Conspirators" Leo Penn Based on an Idea by : Pat Robison
Teleplay by : Howard Berk
Clive Revill Albert Paulsen May 13, 1978 (1978-05-13) 98 minutes


Season 8 (1989)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim played by Original air date Runtime
46 1 "Columbo Goes to the Guillotine" Leo Penn William Read Woodfield Anthony Andrews Anthony Zerbe February 6, 1989 (1989-02-06) 89 minutes
47 2 "Murder, Smoke and Shadows" James Frawley Richard Alan Simmons Fisher Stevens Jeff Perry February 27, 1989 (1989-02-27) 91 minutes
48 3 "Sex and the Married Detective" James Frawley Jerry Ludwig Lindsay Crouse Stephen Macht April 3, 1989 (1989-04-03) 90 minutes
49 4 "Grand Deceptions" Sam Wanamaker Sy Salkowitz Robert Foxworth Andy Romano May 1, 1989 (1989-05-01) 89 minutes


Season 9 (1989–90)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim played by Original air date Runtime
50 1 "Murder: A Self Portrait" James Frawley Robert Sherman Patrick Bauchau Fionnula Flanagan November 25, 1989 (1989-11-25) 88 minutes
51 2 "Columbo Cries Wolf" Daryl Duke William Read Woodfield Ian Buchanan Deidre Hall January 20, 1990 (1990-01-20) 90 minutes
52 3 "Agenda for Murder" Patrick McGoohan Jeffrey Bloom Patrick McGoohan Louis Zorich February 10, 1990 (1990-02-10) 88 minutes
53 4 "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo" Vincent McEveety Peter S. Fischer Helen Shaver Edward Winter March 31, 1990 (1990-03-31) 88 minutes
54 5 "Uneasy Lies the Crown" Alan J. Levi Steven Bochco James Read Marshall R. Teague April 28, 1990 (1990-04-28) 90 minutes
55 6 "Murder in Malibu" Walter Grauman Jackson Gillis Andrew Stevens Janet Margolin May 14, 1990 (1990-05-14) 92 minutes


Season 10 and specials (1990–2003)Edit

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Murderer(s) played by Victim(s) played by Original air date Runtime
56 1 "Columbo Goes to College" E.W. Swackhamer Story by : Jeffrey Bloom and Frederick King Keller
Teleplay by : Jeffrey Bloom
Stephen Caffrey and Gary Hershberger James Sutorius December 9, 1990 (1990-12-09) 98 minutes
57 2 "Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health" Daryl Duke Sonia Wolf, Patricia Ford, and April Raynell George Hamilton Peter Haskell February 20, 1991 (1991-02-20) 98 minutes
58 3 "Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star" Alan J. Levi William Read Woodfield Dabney Coleman Cheryl Paris April 29, 1991 (1991-04-29) 98 minutes
59 4 "Death Hits the Jackpot" Vincent McEveety Jeffrey Bloom Rip Torn Gary Kroeger December 15, 1991 (1991-12-15) 98 minutes
60 5 "No Time to Die" Alan J. Levi Story by : Ed McBain
Teleplay by : Robert van Scoyk
(No murder.  Daniel McDonald plays the would-be murderer.) (None.) February 15, 1992 (1992-02-15) 93 minutes
61 6 "A Bird in the Hand..." Vincent McEveety Jackson Gillis Tyne Daly and Greg Evigan Steve Forrest, León Singer, and Greg Evigan June 19, 1992 (1992-06-19) 98 minutes
62 7 "It's All in the Game" Vincent McEveety Peter Falk Faye Dunaway and Claudia Christian Armando Pucci October 31, 1993 (1993-10-31) 98 minutes
63 8 "Butterfly in Shades of Grey" Dennis Dugan Peter S. Fischer William Shatner Jack Laufer January 10, 1994 (1994-01-10) 98 minutes
64 9 "Undercover" Vincent McEveety Story by : Ed McBain
Teleplay by : Gerry Day
Ed Begley Jr. (Jon Beshara and an uncredited actor also portray two characters who kill each other) Burt Young and Shera Danese May 2, 1994 (1994-05-02) 98 minutes
65 10 "Strange Bedfellows" Vincent McEveety Lawrence Vail George Wendt Jeff Yagher and Jay Acovone April 23, 1996 (1996-04-23) 89 minutes
66 11 "A Trace of Murder" Vincent McEveety Charles Kipps David Rasche and Shera Danese Raye Birk November 4, 1997 (1997-11-04) 98 minutes
67 12 "Ashes to Ashes" Patrick McGoohan Jeffrey Hatcher Patrick McGoohan Rue McClanahan October 8, 1998 (1998-10-08) 98 minutes
68 13 "Murder With Too Many Notes" Patrick McGoohan Story by : Jeffrey Cava
Teleplay by : Jeffrey Cava and Patrick McGoohan
Billy Connolly Chad Willett March 12, 2001 (2001-03-12) 98 minutes
69 14 "Columbo Likes the Nightlife" Jeffrey Reiner Michael Alaimo Jennifer Sky and Matthew Rhys Carmine Giovinazzo and Douglas Roberts January 30, 2003 (2003-01-30) 88 minutes


Repeat offendersEdit

Here is a list of the actors who starred as murderers in more than one episode:

  • Patrick McGoohan starred in four episodes as the murderer: By Dawn's Early Light (Emmy Award) (1974), Identity Crisis (1975), Agenda for Murder (Emmy Award) (1990), and Ashes to Ashes (1998).
  • Jack Cassidy starred in three episodes as the murderer: Murder by the Book (1971), Publish or Perish (1974), and Now You See Him... (1976).
  • Robert Culp starred in three episodes as the murderer: Death Lends a Hand (1971), The Most Crucial Game (1972), and Double Exposure (1973). Also appeared in one episode as the father of the murderer: Columbo Goes to College (1990).
  • George Hamilton starred in two episodes as the murderer: A Deadly State of Mind (1975) and Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health (1991).
  • William Shatner starred in two episodes as the murderer: Fade in to Murder (1976) and Butterfly in Shades of Grey (1994).

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Dawidziak, Mark (1989). The Columbo Phile : A Casebook. New York: Mysterious Press. ISBN 978-0-89296-984-5.