Columbo: Season 1 (1968 - 1972)


Season 1
Columbo

Critics Consensus

Peter Falk's deceptively buffoonish Columbo puts a wily spin on the detective story, tantalizing audiences not with a mystery -- but with the star's enthrallingly eccentric performance.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 20

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 14

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Episodes

Air date: Feb 20, 1968

Laid-back, rain-coated, cigar-chomping Lt. Columbo must solve the murder of a prominent head-shrinker's spouse in this episode of the long-running television mystery series.

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Air date: Mar 1, 1971

In this made-for-TV movie, Lee Grant plays a wily lawyer who murders her husband then arranges to make it appear that he's been kidnapped. She plans to allow the body to be found by the cops during the ransom pick-up. However, Columbo wears down Grant's alibi.

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Air date: Sep 15, 1971

Looking more like a unmade bed than one of the world's greatest homicide detectives, Lt. Columbo is still the best man to solve the mysterious death of a popular mystery writer. Though he quickly finds the culprit, the killer has devised airtight alibis and Columbo must use all of his considerable faculties to trick him into a confession. Steven Spielberg's direction coupled with Steven Bochco's deft writing and Peter Falk's flawless portrayal of the laid-back gumshoe, makes "Murder by the Book" one of the series' finest episodes.

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Air date: Oct 6, 1971

The head of a private-investigation firm (Robert Culp) murders the woman he was following after she refuses to be blackmailed. Columbo: Peter Falk. Kennicutt: Ray Milland. Archer: Brett Halsey.

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Air date: Oct 27, 1971

Eddie Albert as a war hero who commits murder, then woos the only witness to his crime (Suzanne Pleshette). Columbo: Peter Falk. Nora Walters: Kate Reid.

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Air date: Nov 17, 1971

A squabble over a valuable art collection proves murder is not a pretty picture in this episode of the popular detective series Columbo. Frank Simpson (Don Ameche) is a aging multimillionaire who collects art and has a number of extremely valuable pieces in his possession. When Simpson is found murdered in his home, evidence suggests that the killing was the work of ruthless burglars, but Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk), who has been assigned to look into the homicide, discovers that Randy Matthews (Ross Martin), Simpson's nephew, was recently cut out of the collector's will, leaving him to wonder if the crime could be a family affair. Also featuring Kim Hunter and Vic Tayback, Columbo: Suitable for Framing was first aired on November 17, 1971.

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Air date: Dec 15, 1971

After a woman murders her brother, Columbo tries to find the flaw in her crime. Peter Falk. Hamilton: Leslie Nielsen. Chadwick: Richard Anderson.

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Air date: Jan 19, 1972

Short Fuse was one of the first installments in the TV series Columbo. Roddy McDowell is the murderer-of-the-week, a spoiled-rotten heir who does in his hated (but rich) uncle with a box of exploding cigars. Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) dogs McDowell's trail, both indoors and out. Several of the exterior scenes were lensed at the aerial tramway in Palm Springs, California. Anne Francis, James Gregory, Ida Lupino and William Windom also appear in this 1971 Columbo episode.

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Air date: Feb 9, 1972

In this TV mystery, the audience is asked to piece together the clues along with the shambling Lieutenant Columbo as he tries to pin the killing of a tycoon on architect Patrick O'Neal. Janis Paige, Pamela Austin, and Forrest Tucker guest star.

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Columbo: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Peter Falk
Lt. Columbo
Jack Cassidy
Ken Franklin
Don Ameche
Frank Simpson
Janis Paige
Goldie Williamson
William Windom
Everett Logan
Kim Hunter
Edna Matthews
Anne Francis
Valerie Bishop
Pamela Austin
Jennifer Williamson
Eric James
R.J. Denning
Bernie Kuby
Mike Tucker
Len Wayland
Capt. Of Detectives
Garry Walberg
1st Detective
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Critic Reviews for Columbo Season 1

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (12)

The special treat in Columbo is seeing the face-off between a sure-of-his-own-superiority killer and the deceptively diffident deducer in the cruddy raincoat. The formula could become too predictable.

Feb 26, 2021 | Full Review…

It was a very bad story. Badly written around a bad plot, badly directed and badly acted.

Feb 26, 2021 | Full Review…

As for Falk, he brings the character of Columbo to life right from the start. His portrayal will unquestionably be one the best of the new season. A big plus, too, was Henry Mancini's theme music.

Feb 25, 2021 | Full Review…

Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo, the slob detective who never takes off his raincoat, even when he's making an omelet for a beautiful and distraught widow whom he's questioning, is a pure delight.

Feb 25, 2021 | Full Review…

A winner, with a fine murderous performance by Jack Cassidy. The only bothersome thing about these "Mystery Movie" offerings is that they show the viewer too much too soon taking a lot of the mystery out of it.

Feb 25, 2021 | Full Review…

Falk's police Lt. Columbo is priceless characterization. From hunched shoulders to mis-buttoned suit coat, Falk is a deceptive picture of plodding mediocrity.

Feb 25, 2021 | Full Review…

Falk portrays a cagey police detective whose pedestrian manner and dress conceal his animal shrewdness, and he is very, very good in a well-thought-out and well-written characterization.

Feb 26, 2021 | Full Review…

Columbo, the shabbiest cop on film, is sharp as a razor behind his dumb puss. His "Mystery Movie" stories are intricately constructed.

Feb 26, 2021 | Full Review…

The Wednesday newcomers include the "NBC Mystery Movie," on which a trio of 90-minute TV movies alternate. Falk's "Columbo" proved promising.

Feb 26, 2021 | Full Review…

Any mystery fan could see the inevitable and the killer's fatal flaw was revealed early. Still, Falk's quiet appearances and some disquieting close-ups kept reviving the undercurrent of tension.

Feb 25, 2021 | Full Review…

As Columbo, Peter Falk pretends to be a clod of a cop when, of course, he isn't. This is an interesting departure. But his unrelenting mumble becomes, after a time, an imposition on the viewer.

Feb 25, 2021 | Full Review…

Even better than Falk is the writing: quick-paced, amusing, and very slick. And even slicier than the writing is the direction, which is far more subtle than the plot and occasionally downright original.

Feb 25, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Columbo: Season 1

  • Mar 08, 2019
    Best show of all time!

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