Sunday, August 7, 2016

Forgotten TV: Mrs. Columbo (1979)

Columbo had been off the air less than a year when then-NBC programming honcho Fred Silverman decided to spin off the detective's heretofore unseen wife into her own series. Considering NBC was the last place network in the late 70's, this was one of the reasons why.

Mrs. Columbo lasted just 5 weeks in the 1st quarter of 1979. Kate Mulgrew was cast in the title role, but her occupation was that of a newspaper reporter, not a police detective. However, the producers tried to show that she had learned something from her husband after all.

Here's the intro:

Veteran writers Richard Levinson & William Link, creators of Columbo, Mannix, and later, Murder, She Wrote, and Peter Falk weren't digging, and neither were viewers. NBC retooled the series, ultimately, eliminating the familial link, and our sleuth was renamed "Kate Callahan" for subsequent episodes, which were under the titles, Kate the Detective or Kate Loves a Mystery. Didn't matter. The second season was slightly longer than the first, and Kate was history in less than a year.

Of course, Kate Mulgrew fared much better then next time she was entrusted with a series based on a well known franchise. Star Trek Voyager was one of UPN's linchpins in the late 90's-early '00's.

No rating.

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