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TV Series
    (February 20, 1968-January 30, 2003)
    NBC and ABC Mystery Movie feature
    Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo
    Created by Richard Levinson and William Link
    Premise: A messy Los Angeles detective uses his bumbling front to lure murderers into a false sense of security
    No first name was ever officially given for Columbo (though the signature ‘Frank' was briefly shown on his ID card).
    He loved cigars, limericks, golf, and chili with crackers.
    He whistled ‘This Old Man' in most episodes; those in which he didn't would have it somewhere else in the episode.
    Suspects almost always believed their status and image protected them from prosecution.
    Against the wishes of Falk, Levinson, and Link, a forgettable spinoff starring Kate Mulgrew, ‘Mrs Columbo,' was created.
    The murderers were surprisingly cooperative.
    In a real court-of-law, about half the defendants would have been released on grounds of insufficient evidence.
    It was not the traditional whodunit. Instead, the murderer was indicated at the absolute start, it was described as a howcatchem by TV Guide.
    Several episodes did abide by the whodunit blueprint.
    Since murders were shown from the offender's viewpoint, it was not uncommon for Columbo to appear quite late into the story.
    First-season directors included Steven Spielberg, Jonathan Demme, and Falk himself.
    Columbo made good use of his personal weaknesses and childhood pranks on the job.
    The reasons for murder were as varied as the occupations of the offenders.
    Patrick McGoohan holds the record for guest murderer roles at four.
    Sometimes the ‘guest murderer' would become a victim in the same episode.
    Mickey Spillane had a role as one of the murder victims, not surprisingly, as a mystery writer.

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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