Good news if you’re a Columbo fan based in the United States – every one of the Lieutenant’s 69 televised adventures is available to view, for free, via on-demand streaming service, Peacock.
The streaming arm of NBCUniversal, Peacock launched on 15 July and has already delighted Columbo fans in their droves by making their favourite detective’s full back catalogue – of both the NBC and later ABC episodes – available to view at their leisure.
All episodes can be viewed for free (with ads) in HD simply by signing up to the service online at the Peacock website. To be able to enjoy without ads requires sign-up to the Premium service. It’s not available where I live, so I can’t give you costs but I certainly recommend giving it a look if you’re Stateside.
It’s worth noting that pilot episodes Prescription: Murder and Ransom for a Dead Man can be viewed, but you’ll need to search for them by title as they are housed separately from the serialised episodes.
Lest we forget, all seven seasons of Columbo from the 1970s can also be viewed for free (also with ads) via Amazon Prime or IMDBTV if you’re in the US. Those of us outside the 50 states have fewer online options, so if you’ve delayed buying the DVD set for any reason, now could be the time to dive in! You can also view several HD episodes right here on this site.
If you’ve already sampled Columbo on Peacock, do share your opinions on the quality in the comments section, so that other readers can decide whether to follow your lead and sign up. That’s all for now though, folks, have a peachy weekend and look out for the final part of the Columbo Top 100 scenes of the 70s, which will be published on Sunday!
Peacock has chopped between 5-30 minutes off every episode so you don’t see the final killer endings. This is a travesty! Otherwise quality is good.
I am loving the Peacock app! I signed up for the premium with ads for $50.00 for the year which also unlocks original programming as well as episodes from other shows like the first two seasons of Yellowstone ( great show in its own right). Also, for those of you who haven’t taken the plunge because you have Amazon FireTV and the app isn’t available fear not you can “sideload” the app in about ten minutes! Here’s the link it’s quite easy to do with step by step instructions! https://troypoint.com/peacock-tv-app/ I think for $50.00 for the annual subscription is a bargain and like someone said previously, the commercials aren’t at all obtrusive. They do offer commercial free subscription for $100.00 annually. They do offer a monthly option for 4.99 and 9.99 respectively! You do save $10.00 or $20.00 if you pick either annual subscription. Hope this helps in you decision either way…happy viewing!!!
The Sundance Channel has started airing Columbo. They don’t play him at a fixed time. For example, in August they have a few different dates. On Wed., August 5, starting at midnight, they play 4 Columbos in a row. On Sunday, August 9, they play two in a row starting at 6AM.
Yes, been catching some of those on “Catch Up TV” which re-runs shows played within the last few days from Sundance and all other channels. They just ran several good ones from the 70’s. Always easier than dusting off my DVDs.
I can only get 2 episodes for each season. Why?
It seems to be a glitch. It looks like they need time to load. The service is very new and I’d not working that great yet. (Also don’t use a ad blocker with the app.)
Screw the streaming services with their compression and intrusive ads… go with the ‘Columbo’ Complete Series Japanese Blu-ray box set;
– 35 discs containing all 69 episodes, uncut and unedited.
– Stunning 4K transfers from the original camera negatives (the NBC episodes definitely, the ABC episodes may or may not be just new 2K transfers, but both look simply sensational).
– Original 4:3 aspect ratio and mono soundtrack.
Granted the $300 price tag is a bit steep, but this thing is a marvel to behold… the only way it could be better is if they had actually made the planned 70th and final episode – ‘Columbo’s Last Case’ – and included it here, alas…
One additional thing to clarify; only the NBC episodes are in original 4:3 aspect ratio… the ABC episodes are presented in 16:9 for widescreen televisions.
Ad placement, for me, is the most important difference between the Prime and Peacock viewing experiences. The ads on Peacock play at natural breaks, probably at the times the commercials would have aired when the show was broadcast on Sunday evenings. They interrupt the show, but they do not disrupt the continuity of the program. On Prime, the ads occur periodically without regard to what is happening with the show. They will occur in the middle of a conversation, destroying the continuity and making it hard to remember what was going on before being so rudely interrupted.
I do own the complete series on DVD, but streaming shows is more convenient. I use old movies and TV shows to keep me company while I clean or cook, so I will be giving the Peacock app a workout. Thanks to CP for alerting us to this new way to enjoy our favorite detective.
This is my first time watching the 80 Columbo episodes and I’m enjoying them more than I thought I would be. One neat thing is that for the Murder, Smoke and Shadows episode it shows the 80s Mystery Movie intro which is not available in HD on youtube. Pure 80s cheesiness!
I’m getting 20-30 second ads on my Peacock (not a problem at all… maybe 4 total for an episode). Best thing about Peacock is that they’re uncut, not like Hallmark Mystery cuts for 2 hour times, which cut out many nice scenes!
Example: Negative Reaction on Hallmark won’t get you get Nun Van Patton coming back to the table with Falk and Scotti talking, (with Columbo’s a new jacket and the undercover talk)… awful that they cut that scene out.
Best thing ever. I talk to the remote and say “Columbo Peacock” and it will literally play continuously every episode (10 seasons). Awesomeness!!!
One key difference between the Peacock and Amazon Prime showings is that for Peacock, if you want to find a particular scene to watch, you have to keep fast forwarding or rewinding without the benefit of actually seeing where you are in the episode. I believe that for Amazon Prime, there’s a little pop-up screen that will show you where you are in the episode going forwards or backwards. If you are scrolling through an episode to see a particular favorite scene, it can be a bit cumbersome with Peacock.
I recently signed up with Peacock and was happy to find out that if you are an Xfinity subscriber (which I am), you get the first level of Premium (there are two levels) for free. Just follow directions to link you Xfinity account to Peacock. I’m still finding out how to maneuver my way around but so far, so good. And free!
Oooh – thank you so much for this information!
COLUMBO = GOAT!
You can also find most episodes here on archive.org: https://archive.org/details/@edadam. Low video quality, but free.
Best thing that’s happened to me all year, Debbie. Peacock doesn’t work for me from Canada, so you a saviour :). Big thanks!
One nice feature of the free Peacock service: for the 67 Columbo episodes, there’s only one commercial break (generally between the crime and Columbo’s entrance); after that, it’s ad-free the rest of the way. For “Prescription: Murder” and “Ransom for a Dead Man,” as with many of the Peacock movies with ads, the ads are all shown first, with the movie then uninterrupted.