Columbo episode list

From its pilot in 1968 to its curtain call in 2003, Columbo ran for 35 years and comprised 69 episodes.

The full list of Columbo episodes in chronological order can be viewed below. Click on the links to read my reviews of the episodes. I may not get round to reviewing them all until about 2022.

You can also vote your your very favourite episode here!

Columbo pilot episodes

Columbo pilot episodes

Columbo season 1 episodes (1971-72)

Columbo season 1 montage

Columbo season 2 episodes (1972-73)

Columbo season 2 episode list

Columbo season 3 episodes (1973-74)

Columbo season 3 episode list

Columbo season 4 episodes (1974-75)

Columbo season 4 episode list

Columbo season 5 episodes (1975-76)

Columbo season 5 episode list

Columbo season 6 episodes (1976-77)

Columbo season 6 episode list

Columbo season 7 episodes (1977-78)

Columbo season 7 episode list

Columbo season 8 episodes (1989)

Columbo season 8 episode list

Columbo season 9 episodes (1989-90)

Columbo season 9 episode list

Columbo season 10 episodes, plus TV specials (1990-2003)

Columbo season 10 episode list
  • Columbo Goes to College (1990)
  • Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health (1991)
  • Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star (1991)
  • Death Hits the Jackpot (1991)
  • No Time to Die (1992)
  • A Bird in the Hand… (1992)
  • It’s All in the Game (1993)
  • Butterfly in Shades of Grey (1994)
  • Undercover (1994)
  • Strange Bedfellows (1995)
  • A Trace of Murder (1997)
  • Ashes to Ashes (1998)
  • Murder With Too Many Notes (2000)
  • Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003)
Great scenes Part 1

You can read about my all-time Columbo top 10 episodes here.

Support original Columbo content – donate from just $3


136 thoughts on “Columbo episode list

  1. I don’t remember when I found this site, maybe two years ago. I found it by happenstance, when I started watching the first run again. The 70s episodes came on when I was a kid, I couldn’t appreciate them. Took me many years to finally get to the series. After I found this site I bought a few t-shirts :). Even bought a friend a t-shirt.

    There are segments from the early episodes that are forever burned in my mind. I love all of the 70s episodes, even ones that aren’t great, the entertainment value for me is off the charts. Being taken back to a time I sort of remember but not fully, that’s part of it. I love the stories and the villains but also the little things.

    There was a scene in Double Exposure with Robert Culp, who played the TV ad expert. At the grocery store, Columbo has a stack of books in his hands and starts reading the titles. All of them were written by Culp’s character. It seemed to me that Culp wasn’t expecting this and seems genuinely amused that Columbo was ticking off all these books. I love that scene, I’ve watched it over and over trying to figure out if Culp was acting or getting a kick out of how far the show went in creating character backgrounds. I’m leaning toward Culp being truly surprised and amused.

    I also like how, in general, the murderers never resist and give up without a fight. It sounds like it could be unrealistic, maybe it is. I just get a kick out of that. I’m drawing a blank on the episode but at the end of one, Columbo said – “OK officers, take care of him.” The killer waved them off and said something like – “That won’t be necessary.” He lit a cigarette and opened the back door of the cop car unassisted and sat down.

    The ending of the Ruth Gordon episode was my favorite ending ever on the show. The two of them talking. I have never felt sympathy for a Columbo villain except for this episode. Tragedy for so many people.

    • There’s a Perry Mason episode where a TV guest is killed live on air. It was supposed to be a joke cooked up by victim and killer, but someone else replaced a blank with a real bullet.

  2. Found this site a month or two ago and just wanted to say how impressive it is. The episode synopses and reviews are beautifully written, and even when I find myself disagreeing with the latter, they’re always well-argued and food for thought. You’ve also done a great job with the layout of both the articles and the site as a whole. I’ve been re-watching episodes and a good part of my motivation is to be able to better engage with your reviews. All in all, one of the best put together websites I think I’ve seen. Kudos.

  3. I will always love the first Columbo, “Prescription Murder” The interrogation scene between Peter Falk and Kathleen Justice was brilliant. Towards the end of the movie when Detective Columbo is telling Joan (the suspect) that he will not give up, the audience is force to watch the two actors from behind. We are left to decipher from the body language what the two of them are feeling. It is my favorite scene, EVER

    • I love this first episode also! BUT, the very end is a huge let down. The main character is caught, yet after all that arrogance he displays through the whole episode you naturally want him brought down a few notches. But alas, all he does is light up a cigarette without even changing his expression. One could argue that it is fitting BECAUSE of his arrogance, but come on this is television entertainment, give the viewer some satisfaction. I don’t expect him to fall down into a fetal position and start crying! Lol. But at least a change of expression when he realizes he’s been “had” would have been nice. Kind of spoiled the whole thing for me. But I like enough about the episode and the series to still watch it.

  4. I’ve now seen the majority of the 70s episodes (and a few of the 90s), and at this point I can list my own top 5, though alphabetically instead of by rank because that’s just too hard: Any Old Port in a Storm, The Conspirators, Double Exposure, Negative Reaction, and Try and Catch Me. Others in my top 10, in random order: Swan Song, By Dawn’s Early Light, Forgotten Lady, Now You See Him–and I’ll hold off on the tenth until I refresh my memory some more.

    • Elaine, I’m going to piggyback off your comment because of its recency in order to qualify my prior favorable comments about one of the later Columbos; namely “Columbo Likes the Nightlife”. I still think its a solid entry, and Peter Falk is immersed in his role, but that allegedly cool (is it seventies??) music is almost intolerable. Thank goodness it fades somewhat after about 35 minutes into the show. But its still there and very annoying. It doesn’t add anything to the show.

      • Funny how tastes can be so different. I really liked the music a lot. Being an old geezer of 61 I was not really familiar with it. Its Techno-music, done with electronic instruments and machines. I wouldn’t want to listen to it constantly, but I still like it, especially as dance music, like Disco. It does kind of have some Disco aspects to it which definitely was of my generation and that may be why I enjoyed the sound.

      • Glad to see someone else liked “Columbo Likes the Nightlife.” It’s the only later-Columbo episode I’ve seen that I thought was as good as the best early-Columbo.

        Falk is great and doesn’t indulge in any of the cutesy-eccentric over-acting that marred a lot of the later episodes. Columbo does some good detective work figuring out the girl’s involvement as well as where her ex-husband’s body was disposed of. The episode also doesn’t look cheap to me, the way every single one of the later ones I’ve seen does — looks like a movie rather than a cheap TV show.

        I like electronic dance music, so even that didn’t bother me, but while watching I was thinking that the music would probably be jarring for most fans of the show. So I can totally see how that would be a minus for you. Still, music aside, think they really managed to hit a home run and recapture the glory days with the final episode, which was nice. Though I’ve seen some people in the comments here give CLtN a very low grade, so I guess not everyone has the same opinion.

    • As far as your favorites Elaine, I am totally with you. The acting alone in “Any Old Port…” puts in into the top three of all time for me. Your other choices are also spot on in my opinion. All excellently done, and I think other contributors would agree. I am no expert, except in knowing what I like. And that annoying (nineties maybe?) “music” in “Columbo Likes the Nightlife” will forever keep it in my bottom tier…

      • Thanks, Scott. I haven’t seen “Columbo Likes the Nightlife” so I can’t comment on that. But I just put “Publish or Perish” into my top 10.

      • ANY OLD PORT… has been my favorite since the first airing. I’ve long ago lost any idea of how many times I’ve seen each-can’t help but laugh, as I found this site I’m in the last few minutes of PORT again. The incomparable VITO SCOTTI has just uttered his classic line, “The WHITE wine steward, or the RED wine steward?”

        • Any old Port is probably my bottom favorite of any of them. i am watching the set thru so I haven’t seen them all although I have watched most of them years ago. I will be coming out with my top ten soon.

  5. “Columbo” is always fun to watch, of course! But some episodes require almost as much suspension of disbelief as “The Incredible Hulk”. This episode gives us another no-evidence arrest. The D.A. likely will pass. If not, the Grand Jury won’t indict. Then our beloved lieutenant will be reprimanded.

    • How strange: it backed me up to the homepage, and I didn’t notice. I was trying to post this under “Lovely But Lethal”….

    • Oh yes 🙂 Columbo is still great to watch (at the the ones of the end ot the 80ties or in the ninethies): I miss Columbo so much, and this is the 10th year, we lost him.

  6. Starting with A Friend In Deed is hard to beat. Although, I can argue for the first five episodes out the gate, mainly because Suzanne Pleshette was in Dead Weight. I don’t dislike Dead Weight as much as most.

    But three of my fave episodes were By Dawn’s Early Light, An Exercise in Fatality and A Friend in Deed. Troubled Waters beats out Negative Reaction, but the Van Dyke episode was great just for the fact he offed that hideous woman.

  7. Just watched the new NBC comedy with Duane “The Rock” Johnson “Young Rock”….Season 1, episode 4.
    The show portrays him growing up. And there was a portrayal tonight (3/16/21) of him in 1990. He comes home from college to visit his parents a couple of weeks before Christmas, and he sits down on the couch, with his dad, in front of the TV.
    What’s on?
    All they show is Peter Falk talking for a few seconds (inaudible)…but I think it was “new ABC” episode.
    If anybody figures out which episode it was, then you are a great detective!
    I’m going to go with “Columbo Goes to College,” because that actually aired (premiered) the same week as the portrayal! (December 9, 1990)

  8. Today is the birthday of two of our favorite Columbo guest stars: Joyce van Patten (87) and Trish van Devere (80). As if any of us can imagine Trish being 80!

    • Didn’t know exactly where on here to post this, but I guess here is okay:

      Two of my favorite television programs are Columbo and Seinfeld.
      I don’t know if this has been mentioned before, but I really think Michael Richards- who plays Kramer- copies many of Columbo’s quirky mannerisms; particularly in Seinfeld’s early seasons.
      It’s hard to explain. I’ve noticed it several times in several episodes.

      Anybody else get that vibe?

      • I did get that vibe, because Richards loves detective shows, which is why he wanted to do one for his spin off series after Seinfeld. Unfortunately, the producers messed that up so it ended up being too silly and stupid, and the show failed, but I think it would have been great if they had let the cast and crew determine the course of the show like it should have been.

      • There’s a very good Canadian detective show, “The Murdoch Mysteries,” that takes place in Toronto in the early 1900s. One of the detectives does an exact imitation of Columbo’s mannerisms. [He isn’t in every season of it.] It must be a tribute to Columbo since it’s so obvious.

  9. Pingback: Putting It Together -- Wednesday Writing Prompt | ANN LARDAS

  10. With our inimitable CP indisposed for the moment (godspeed little doodle), who’s up for a makeshift reader poll? The question: What is the best 5-episode stretch of Columbo? Weigh your answer using whatever criteria you like (inclusion of a single personal favorite, consistency of the set, etc.), but it has to be an interrupted stretch of episodes. So, for example, if you want to include Suitable for Framing and Blueprint for Murder, you have to include Short Fuse.

    The order shown by CP on this page will be considered official.

    • I’ll start. This was a really tough exercise, but I’m going to go with…
      Swan Song
      A Friend in Deed
      An Exercise in Fatality
      Negative Reaction
      By Dawn’s Early Light

      Somewhat surprisingly, none of these episodes cracks my all-time top 5. But each would land in that 5-20 range, making it one of the few 5-ep stretches without at least one subpar outing. Plus, I place A Friend In Deed squarely in the overall top 10.

      Interested to read others’ opinions.

      • An excellent question! For me, I think it’s hard to beat: A Friend in Deed, Exercise in Fatality, Negative Reaction, By Dawn’s Early Light and Troubled Waters. Something for everyone there – darkness and light, comedy and seriousness, awesome guest stars and chemistry between leads. In short, all hits, no filler!

        • Great minds, right CP. 😉 On the respective ends of this set, I have no problem including Troubled Waters over Swan Song.

          Despite our vote overlap, I think strong cases can be made for several other sets.

              • I’d probably go for the same set if it weren’t for ‘An Exercise in Fatality’, which I feel is let down by an extremely weak gotcha. I’d also swap out ‘Swan Song’ for ‘Troubled Waters’ – I HATE Tommy Brown and I hate the fact that Columbo seems to sympathise with him.

    • I would have Ransom for a Dead Man, Murder by the Book, Death Lends a Hand and Dead Weight. However, it would be hard to choose between Prescription: Murder which was before these 4, or Suitable for Framing which came after these 4, for the final spot. Lady in Waiting is brilliant as well. The first 7 episodes included 6 of the very best, plus Dead Weight which is a little bit under rated in my opinion.

      ‘The Greenhouse Jungle’ to ‘A Stitch in Crime’ is another five episode run that is up there, but hurt by the Dagger in the middle.
      ‘Bye-Bye Sky High…’ to ‘How to Dial a Murder’ is an incredible run as well.

      G4 I agree with the stretch you have chosen not having any absolute favourites in it, while containing five amazing episodes and without any weak link.
      This was a great question 🙂

      • Excellent choice CFan! The series certainly did fire hard out of the gate, didn’t it. My main reason for not picking the “Book to Lady” quintet was that I feel Falk had not yet perfected the character or his performance. But with 3 superbly written episodes in the bunch (MbtB, DLaH and SfF), damn that’s hard to deny.

        I have to sheepishly admit that I have not seen Ransom for a Dead Man because the two pilots have not aired on Sundance or Cozi. So I bow to your wisdom on its inclusion.

        As to your runner-up, I think I’m the low man around here on A Stitch in Crime and would not go out of my way to include it. But I do quite like Requiem for a Falling Star.

        • You raise a fair point about Falk having not yet hit his peak in Season 1.
          After watching the newer episodes, however, I’d take any of Falk’s 70s performance (other than that of ‘Last Salute’).
          But yes, the series certainly began with a string if outstandingly written episodes, and season 1 had arguably the strongest lineup of those playing the killer.

          Ransom for a Dead Man truly is a magnificent episode. It is often overlooked, probably in part because it has a rare distinction of being a second pilot episode. I’d highly recommend getting the box set if it is not too inconvenient for you to do so.

          I find your comment on ‘A Stitch in Crime’ interesting. I found the episode to be over-rated, but over time it has grown on me. I still wouldn’t put it in the top 10. I find the gotcha both brilliant and underwhelming. Brilliant because for once I genuinely thought Columbo had lost, but underwhelming because if the Dr. had locked the door, he would have been off the hook and I think someone as cold hearted as him would have been quick to lock the door.
          What aspects of it do you dislike?

          • Stitch is a strong episode so I don’t want to come across as bashing it, like you I just think it’s slightly overrated. It’s similarly dark but not as enjoyable to watch as A Friend In Deed. I realize Nimoy is meant to play a cold-blooded SOB, but his humorless performance sucked some of the joy out of my viewing experience. I also didn’t quite buy that the staff assisting with final surgery couldn’t have identified the inappropriate sutures.

            Minor quibbles certainly. Still a top 20 episode with plenty of great moments. In fact, I wasn’t even trying to say that Requiem is better, just more underrated in comparison.

      • I like “Dead Weight,” too, so I think your selection is excellent. I’d probably pick “Ransom” through “Suitable,” though I agree that “Lady” is a fine show as well.

  11. Is there a Columbo movie that involves the International Date-Line? I’ve looked for years and cannot find it. Maybe I’m confused. Anybody have a clue what murder mystery it is that I keep thinking of? I really thought it was a Columbo movie. Please help me if you know anything. Thank you very much for any help.

  12. My viewing of Columbo is like the painting of the Golden Gate Bridge.
    The Golden Gate Bridge is painted from one end to the other. As soon as the painters get to the end, they immediately start over from the beginning.

    I do this with Columbo.
    I watch them in order, and, as soon as I finish the final episode, I start over at the beginning. I like doing this, and I always learn something new from each matter how many times I’ve seen the episode.

    Anybody else do something similar?

    • Yes, I always get a new insight with each viewing. I have the boxed set, and I do the same thing you do. There are a couple I can’t watch again, like The Most Dangerous Match and A Deadly State of Mind, too upsetting for some reason.

  13. I don’t know how many US viewers are on this site who are currently watching Columbo on MeTV, but I’m really annoyed with them for the number of episodes they’ve skipped. I’ve hardly seen any of the season 1 episodes. Last week they showed Ransom for a Dead Man. Last night it was Etude in Black. And checking their website, I see the next two scheduled are Dagger of the Mind and Any Old Port in a Storm, which come much later in the series and which I saw not that long ago. Does anyone know why they’re doing this? Do they only have a limited number of episodes to show? I really want to see the season 1 episodes that people say are so great!

    • They seem to only be playing the longer (90-minute) Columbo episodes, which must be easier to schedule. There are far fewer of them but after Any Old Port you can expect Candidate for Crime, Swan Song, Friend in Deed and Exercise in Fatality. Lots of gems will be bypassed.

        • Speaking of last night’s episode of Etude in Black on MeTV, I found it very interesting that the first commercial break didn’t come until the 25th minute!
          Usually the first t.v. break happens in the first 15 minutes or so. Last night it came in the 25th minute when the Maestro is performing live and realizes that he is missing his flower on his suit.
          I guess the network felt this was the first “natural” break in the episode…but the networks usually keep a tight (predictable)schedule of timeouts.
          Looking back, they could have taken the first commercial break when the Maestro was leaving the house after the murder, with the kid playing with the dog in the yard.
          Anyway, the longer the stretches of Columbo without commercials, the better!

    • They have shown the pilot several weeks ago, Prescription:Murder 1968. MeTV will probably show that again in the future. It was very good to see a young, dark haired Columbo.

      • Thank you, that’s good to know. I really don’t like watching TV on a computer, though. I might try to hunt down some DVDs.

        • About a month ago I bought Season 1 on DVD–and now I see that MeTV is starting to schedule Season 1 episodes! It figures. I hope that they continue after with the Season 2 ones that I haven’t seen in forever.


      Hi Elaine. I am from Trinidad and Tobago. I love Columbo and have been searching the Internet and I hit the jackpost last month (July). The first 45 episodes in the link above. By searching *archives columbo and the episode title* I found the remaining 24 episodes. Now I have seen everyone. Merlene

  14. Not sure where to post this, and forgive me if that has been discussed on this site before. I’ve only been here for a few months.
    I’m sure there has been thoughts/discussions about a Columbo sequel or prequel.
    I think a sequel could work very well and would be much better than a prequel.

    Simple idea for a sequel: Columbo has a nephew (maybe in his 40s) with the same last name, and who idolized his late Uncle Lt. Columbo as a detective.
    The show could still be called “Columbo” and follow the beloved format we all enjoy.
    It’s been almost two decades since the final episode, and think how much technology has changed since then (for better or for worse). This could create many new interesting plots. Off the top of my head, an episode about online dating, an episode about ride-sharing, etc…
    Of course, nothing can replace the original, but I’m in the camp of “Heck, it’s worth a try.” This might be sac-religious, but the show doesn’t have to “die” with the loss of the great Peter Falk.
    I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of prequels. The idea of some other actor playing a young Peter Falk doesn’t do much for me. Plus, do we really want to go back to the 1950’s and 60s?
    I like the idea of moving forward with a Columbo nephew and modern-day guest villains.

    • Absolutely. Why not a reboot? As an example, Hawaii 5-0, both series were great. And Dog can make special appearances too.

    • If it’s not the same character (older, younger, or in between), then what’s the point? Columbo’s nephew will not have inherited (from Columbo’s brother, if his last name is also Columbo) Columbo’s manner, his (rather old fashioned) respectful way of dealing with people of prominence, and the same idiosyncratic “shopworn bag of tricks.” A different character means a different personality. So all you’re really rebooting is the name and the inverted mystery formula. If it’s going to be a new character, why not boot a new inverted-mystery show with a new name? Columbo wasn’t the first inverted mystery and needn’t be the last.

      As many know (, I’m all for a prequel. Transporting Columbo into the past adds a lot of period charm for me, lets us see how our favorite TV detective came about, and eliminates Falk comparisons (as Falk never played Columbo in the 1950’s).

  15. I am Italian and I am always wondering about Columbo Italian roots. In some episodes he speaks perfectly his heritage language but in other episodes he seems not understand a word. It would be great if you can dedicate a post to Columbo and his Italian background. An Italian rock band, Baustelle, had even dedicated a song to Columbo/Colombo!

    • Columbo is like a chameleon… he understands and can speak Italian perfectly fine, when it suits the case, and vice versa!

  16. Does anyone know which episode ended with a woman asking “You’re not stupid, are you, lieutenant?” and Columbo answered “No Ma’am, I’m not”

  17. Watching the Ruth Gordon episode Try and Catch Me which is good, this is the first time its been on here because for the past few months in England they’ve been showing Columbo from 09.30 to 19.00 every Sunday but they keep repeating the same episodes. By Dawn’s Early Light and Swan Song plus Troubled Waters have been shown several times since March 2020. Good as they are they should vary them don’t you thinks. There’s plenty to choose from!

  18. Does anybody else re-watch these episodes and try to pinpoint the EXACT moment when Columbo FIRST suspects the murderer as the “murderer?”
    I do!

    • Whether it’s just me or not,
      but I notice invariably it’s the
      first person that Columbo tries to interview.
      Probably as he suspects right away the person
      who is most connected to the crime scene,
      whether or not they would normally be there.
      Also, someone that the victim knew fairly well.

  19. it’s all in the game – at the starting of this episode the water in the fountain goes backwards i wonder why

    • Lol, not that great but entertaining! I think I liked Patrick in the funeral director where he incinerates the woman, who really needed incinerating lol!

  20. I am trying to figure out if there was a Columbo episode where the executive has an office behind a security door with guards, but (I think) his wife kills him or her lover and Columbo has to figure out how the guy got killed when supposedly nobody was with him. Is this a Columbo or am I confusing it with something else?

    • That was from the ” Make me a perfect murder” episode in season 7. That was the last season of the first run of Columbo episodes.

      • Thanks. I didn’t explain it well. The executive is in an office with a security guard outside his door at all times, yet someone is able to get inside and shoot him. I think it’s his wife or someone who works for him but that’s all I remember. I know the Make Me a Perfect Murder episode. That was a good one but not the episode I’m thinking of. I’ve looked at the full list and nothing seems to fit so I must be thinking of a different series.

        • Perhaps you mean the episode called “ Candidate for Crime” but it doesn’t quite fit the bill of the episode you described

  21. I sure hope you’re thinking of collecting all your reviews and putting it out as a book. OK, so you can’t call it the Columbo Phile, but that doesn’t matter. Just get it out there. I’d buy that book, even if every word was available online for free. I love this site.

  22. I didn’t find the feather bit that much of a problem. There has to be some clue which turns him toward Danziger out of a shipload of suspects. He is not an obvious candidate like a spouse or an heir or someone who profits in a business way. The feather might have been on the bottom of a shoe and fallen off.

    I agree with the general criticism of Danziger having too much knowledge of the ship. This could have been made more credible easily with a line or two, possibly in the conversation with the wife, that Danziger having been sailor on this or a similar ship. The wife might have mentioned in passing that she met him when he was a sailor on a cruise years ago.

    No one, I think, has mentioned what I would consider the big problem with Danziger’s plot. How would he know the protocol for a heart attack patient? Perhaps the physician would request the nurse look in every 15 minutes just to see he was resting comfortably. What if his blood pressure was taken at 10:45 and 11:15 rather than at 11 and 11:30? Would blow the whole plan wouldn’t it? What if another patient showed up and delayed the nurse taking his blood pressure for 15 minutes? And how would he know she would sit with her back to the door of his room? Way too many things could go wrong, not to mention he might be seen once he was out of the hospital. His scheme was actually hilariously improbable in my judgment.

    Also, how could he be certain the singer and piano player would be fighting rather than openly billing and cooing? No reason for her not to renew their affair, after all.

    I think a better way would be to just slip his wife a mickey, commit the murder, and throw the gloves and gun overboard. Why would anyone necessarily connect the murder to Danziger?

    Your review was fun all the way, but I don’t see the singer as a wronged lover. She was just a love him and then blackmail him rotter. Danziger was really the wronged lover of the two, even if a creepy unfaithful hubby.

    Did you notice that the color combinations of Danziger’s wardrobe grew progressively more mundane. In his last scene he was blue on blue.

    Despite all these caveats about the writing, this is one of my favorite episodes due to the great villain and cast, Columbo’s old school detective work, the ship setting, and the humor.

    A last thought. What happens to Danziger? He is obviously guilty, but I think gets a suspended sentence due to the intervention of the International Society of Music Critics on his behalf. He did, after all, finish off Volare once and for all.

  23. “At Home with the Carsinis”, a short-lived spinoff series. Very funny, but don’t make fun of Julie Harris or make graven images of her likeness, LOL. The series was filmed in jail, I guess, although, as in various other episodes, it doesn’t seem like Columbo has any real evidence against the killer. Ho-hum.

    • I think that we can add
      Harris’s character to the
      list of assistants whose attempts at capitalizing
      on their boss’s crime are very short-lived. Along
      with Abi’s in Try and Catch Me, and who don’t get
      themselves bumped off altogether.

  24. Just found your site today regarding ‘Friend in Deed’.

    Question on the first seven seasons: The show took to having Columbo shout questions and answers, notably in the ‘Commodore’ and the one where Jack Cassidy plays the magician/nazi.

    What was the purpose or intent when Columbo shouts through his interview with the boatyard worker in ‘Commodore’ and in regard to leaving behind his wife’s new gift raincoat in magician/nazi?

    Just wondering as this choice to have a shouting Columbo makes strained viewing. How many times did we have a ‘shouting Columbo’ scene in the series?

    Also, love the use of food, restaurants and chefs in so many ways on Columbo. Was there a back story on those choices? Was Peter Falk a foodie?

    Thanks for your comments if possible.

    • Having watched all Columbo episodes more than once I can assure you they are full of annoying inconsistencies that in my opinion are wrong and unexplainable.
      The consistent part of the formula is arriving at the crime scene always winning about something, I didn’t sleep last night I haven’t had my first coffee yet, my wife wanted to see Bette Davis at 3 in the morning, I’ve got a cold, my car broke down, those clams are killing me, I can’t find my wife is a big boat…………..and the list goes on and on. That’s on top of all the countless mentions of the wife, the nephews, dog, his car braking down and the hard boiled eggs just to mention a few.
      The show is entertaining and with some exceptions most episodes a very enjoyable.
      In conclusion try not to find rationale because you won’t find it in my opinion.

    • Columbo shouted in “Commodore” because there was a lot of noise going on in the boatyard with repairs and what not. I think he shouted way too loudly at times to give the appearance of not being that skilled in his work so as to make the culprit over confident.

    • Yea not quite sure what the point of having columbo shout on screen is about, with my only guess being a bit of a comedic scene for the show. Everyones been in a situation where alot of noise is present and ppl have to shout to one another to have a conversation. I assume the director intended this scene to be funny instead of the annoying scene we all remember it for. The comadore is a very VERY odd columbo episode, not at all in touch with the feeling of the rest of the entire series….

      That being said….
      Would columbo have been the same without it?

      As brutally terrible it is from the rest of the series, i still loved watching it the first time, i love how it brings columbo fans together, and i love how abnormally offbeat it is from the rest of em.
      You cant think about columbo without thinking about last salute, good or bad

      Fun fact: This episode can be seen in the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy, where columbo is hanging off the back of the boat asking about the self steering mechinism. The little boy asks whos on the tv when the delivery guy responds “His name is columbo, he pretends to be stupid; but hes really sharp as a tac,”

      This was my introduction to columbo and possibly would never have taken interest in the series at all if not for Sandlers Big Daddy movie!

      • This could be an interesting future thread for this site: how I first discovered Columbo.
        For myself and strictly speaking my first Columbo was THE first Columbo … the 60s TV movie with Gene Barry, though I saw it, as a teenager, before the TV series started (around 1970 I guess)
        By the time the TV series did get underway I was a poor student with no access to a TV, so when I met up with friends in a pub one night wearing a rumpled old raincoat and they said I looked like Columbo and everybody laughed I didn’t get the joke … I didn’t know who Columbo was. And, of course, there was no Google to check him out on and no VHS videos of episodes to look out for back then.
        So it wasn’t until the original 70s run had finished that I found out what all the fuss was about. .

  25. Sir, your reviews and critiques of each episode are a delight.

    And the next best thing to watching Columbo itself.

    Such dedication. Makes me enjoy them even more so. And in a different light. Keep up the good work. I can’t wait to read the forthcoming reviews.

    You’re a legend.


  26. Hey, was just watching Columbo Goes to College, and I just love the scene when Columbo is looking at the Indy Car racing picture on the wall and he stops a guy in the hallway and asks where & how the picture is taken from that particular angle. The guys says they make video cameras so small now, they can stick them up … “wait, wait, that’s enough, thank you very much”. Says Lieutenant Columbo, He takes a few steps walking away, turns back and says to him, “thank you VERY much sir”.

    • Columbo Goes To College is in my opinion one of the best episodes of the late part of the series mostly because of the intense interaction he has with the murderers since the very beginning of the episode. Caution, murder can be hazardous to your health, Columbo likes the nightlife, Agenda for murder, A trace of murder and A bird in the hand are also magnificent.

  27. Hello I am so grateful I found your blog, I really found you by mistake,
    while I was looking on Bing for something else, Anyhow I am here now and
    would just like to say thank you for a tremendous post and a
    all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the
    minute but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read
    a lot more, Please do keep up the great b.

  28. Amazing how clean& dapper he was in 1968 pilot- he carried pressed raincoat over his arm& wore crisp suits – columbo is ours in syracuse!!! He went to SU with jim Brown & Frank Langella (Dracula)

  29. Hi, just watched an episode…the title was ‘Forgotten Lady’ but the film was about Arabs, one being a killer who sought diplomatic immunity etc…confused

    • It should have been called a case of immunity, it looks as if ITV4 have messed up the titles, must admit Forgotten Lady looks better, the Arab episode was a little flat.

      • How odd? Bungling schedulers… As coincidence would have it, Case of Immunity is the next episode chronologically to Forgotten Lady and the next episode I’ll be reviewing on the site. I haven’t watched Immunity for some time, but from memory Forgotten Lady is the superior outing.

        • I remember this blunder i buy a TV guide every week , it is rare but they do make the odd schedule blunder , however neither forgotten lady or a case of immunity are among my true favorites .

  30. Pingback: Step 8: Publishing Your Paperback Through Kindle Direct Publishing – Beyond Arden

  31. Hey fellow Columbo addicts ! Kind of a newbie question, but looking at the Season 10 kaleidoscope, from which episode is the first screenshot from ? (the lieutenant lighting up his cigar in the dark) Iconic !

      • Thanks ! Just re-watched it, indeed nice scene with the smoke and that 80’s blue style 🙂 By the way, you’re doing a great work Columbophile, thanks for keeping the legacy of one of the most important detective fiction ever created ! I watched my first one when I was 6, and will never forget its impact. Cheers from France !


  33. Generally I don’t prefer the later Columbo episodes over the “originals” for any number of reasons; but I’m watching “Murder of a Rock Star” with the very respected actor Dabney Coleman, and am finding it very watchable.

    • I forgot to add that I eagerly await Columbophile’s opinions regarding this episode!!
      I have enjoyed this blog/site more times than any other in TV/movies.

      • remember watching as a kid With my parents the NBC mystery movie and was always hoping it was Colombo but since then I’ve been watching As an adult in the last few years IDV R or Colombo and of watched everything at least 2 or 3 times when I’ve gotten to watch them about 4 times since then I look for little hidden Treasures on the scenes like backwards waterfalls Colombo’s car parked in scenes that shouldn’t be

  34. I remember watching Colombo in Poland in late 70 and 80.Now I’m watching again Colombo in USA in NY.What a great feeling.

  35. Thanks for those interesting and very complete reviews ! I enjoy reading them after having watched each episode. It’s like enjoying the show a 2d time, discovering new details I didn’t ever notice. Specially appreciating your expertise while putting each episode in the overall perspective of the series.
    I hope you will be able to go on, as I’m starting season 5 right now and that’s where the reviews end so far.

  36. Pingback: 2018: the Columbo year in review | The Columbophile

  37. I wish to purchase all the episodes DVDs of columbo .
    I am the big fan of his .
    I love every episode I have watched .

  38. I wonder if someone can help me find the name of an episode. Somewhere near the end of the episode, Columbo explains that the victim (who I think was locked in a room) scratched a “deathbed” message using the carbon from a light bulb or match (not sure). The main thing I remember is Columbo saying to the suspected killer that the message, which implicated the killer, was “deathbed testimony” and was very powerful evidence. Help! Thanks in any case!

        • it was a walk in safe where the murderer stored cash an valuables and manuscripts in which her latest novel was titled the night I was murdered , Edmund the victim used a burnt match out of six matches (as he was a smoker)he used the remaining 5 to see to and he then used his last burnt match to delete ; The night; leaving, I was murdered by Abigail Mitchell on the title page which he then fixed in to a blown light bulb socket with an arrow pointing upwards which he scratched onto some metal boxes, it is vintage columbo and my personal favourite .

  39. Can anyone give me the name of an episode where Columbo nails the evidence via an altered security video that shows the image of an untrimmed hedge outside a property, but which date stamp doesn’t quite fit, as the same hedge is shown as trimmed hours (or possibly a day) earlier?
    It was altered by the antagonist in order to provide a watertight alibi, but Columbo’s sharp eye spotted the oversight.
    It’s a ‘gotcha’ that I really liked so want to trace the episode for an overdue re-watch. Any help would be gratefully received!

  40. troubled waters and playback 2 top episodes I meant to say try and catch me and the bye bye are still a little bit in the distance 1976 and 1977.

  41. Thanks for website…much appreciated.
    Question: I just discovered a Columbo episode online that I don’t find mentioned in either your list or DVD collections. It’s described as a TV Movie that aired in 1979 with Hal Holbrook as the villain (I think…haven’t watched it yet). Title is “Murder by Natural Causes” and it aired on CBS. Were there other Columbo TV Movies between Season 7 and Season 8 that have never been put in DVD or in a collection? Why was this episode not included in the boxed DVD collections?
    Thanks for any light you can shed.

    • From what I can see from quick research, Murder by Natural Causes was created by Columbo creators Levinson and Link, but it is not a Columbo episode. Reading the synopsis it doesn’t appear to have a police element at all.

      There were two Columbo episodes I know of that were scripted but never made. I wrote about those here:

      • Thanks so much for your quick response, explaining the status of Murder by Natural Causes. Also appreciated the link to the “lost” Columbo episodes. Well done!

      • Just got hoodwinked into watching Murder by Natural Causes a few days ago, thinking it was a Columbo episode. It has more plot twists than a challah bread, making it so unconvincing as to be laughable. No detectives are involved, and it seems to last forever.

  42. I am finally ready to declare my dislike for a particular Columbo episode. It is “Columbo Cries Wolf”. My first negative impression came early on when the suspect DESCRIBES how Columbo operates. It’s as though we have a new younger audience to whom everything has to be spoon fed. There is a lot more I can talk about later; things that don’t ruin a first watch, but definitely stand in the way of my ever seeing this again.

    • I agree it’s not the greatest of all episodes… however in Prescription Murder, the pilot episode from 1968, the suspect, dr. Ray Flemming, describes the way Columbo operates as well, and in greater detail. And he wouldn’t be the only one to do so. Other suspects have remarked on Columbo’s subtle ways of never coming to the point, though never as detailed as Flemming did (but then Flemming was a psychiatrist and he and Columbo were having an after working hours session).
      So my point is, the suspect describing the way Columbo operates is like being the voice of the viewer and personally I don’t mind that at all. And I don’t think it has anything to do with spoon feeding a younger audience, it’s the suspect telling Columbo that he’s on to him. And we, the viewers, can be thrilled to know that that may be so, but that it won’t be enough to save him.

      • I agree I don’t like columbo cries wolf that much either but there at least 5 or 6 new episodes worse than it mainly undercover , murder in Malibu , no time to die , I also cant stand murder with too many notes and murder a self portrait is drossy.

        • The problem I have with Columbo Cries Wolf is that what the main character did was totally illegal. He was essentially sending the police on a wild goose chase, having them waste all those resources, yet nothing happens to him until Columbo finds a body.


Leave a Reply to columbophile Cancel reply