Podcast of TV CONFIDENTIAL Show No. 561.1 with guest David Koenig is available for listening on demand

The Lives and Deaths of Columbo on TV
Original Airdates: Dec. 10-12, 2021
TVC 561.1: Ed welcomes back David Koenig, author of Mouse Tales: A Behind the Ears Look at Disneyland, Danny Kaye: King of Jesters, and other pop culture titles. David’s latest book, Shooting Columbo: The Lives and Deaths of TV’s Rumpled Detective, takes us behind the scenes of the production of Columbo, the groundbreaking mystery series starring Peter Falk and created by Richard Levinson and William Link that celebrates its fiftieth anniversary on television this fall. Topics this segment include the first appearance of the Columbo character on television (which occurred in a live production of Enough Rope, the original play written by Richard Levinson and William Link, that aired on The Chevy Mystery Show in the summer in 1960); how important Peter Falk was to the success of the series; the pivotal role that Universal Studios executive Sid Sheinberg played in championing the careers of Levinson and Link, series producer Dean Hargrove, and director Steven Spielberg; and how Jackson Gillis and Larry Cohen both left their marks on Columbo.

Columbo’s Path from TV to Stage to TV
Original Airdates: Dec. 10-12, 2021
TVC 561.2: David Koenig, author of Shooting Columbo: The Lives and Deaths of TV’s Rumpled Detective, discusses how Prescription: Murder (the original pilot for Columbo) evolved from the original TV production that Richard Levinson and William Link wrote in 1960 to a full-length stage production starring Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, and Thomas Mitchell (with Mitchell essaying the role of Lieutenant Columbo), and how Levinson and Link weathered a series of clashes with the actors behind the scenes; the memorable scores that Oliver Nelson and Gil Melle provided for the NBC series; and the influence that actor/director Patrick McGoohan and writer/producer Richard Alan Simmons had on Peter Falk and the Columbo series, both on NBC and on ABC.

Shooting Columbo provides a blow by blow account of Peter Falk’s endless battles with Universal Studios over the production of the series, a treasure trove of behind the scenes production information, a look at how the various locations in Beverly Hills were chosen, plus the answers to such burning questions as “What was Columbo’s first name?”

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