the ‘goodbye columbo’ campaign

Last night, I mentioned a Metafilter thread about “Columbo.” I think I said that it was about the trouble they were having getting the next, and possibly last, episode shot, but I didn’t get into a lot of detail. Well, here, for the one or two of you in the audience who share my passion for “Columbo,” is a clip from the original “New York Daily News” article that started the whole thing off.

…Backers of a potential “Columbo” movie say they can’t sell the project because the show’s star, Peter Falk, is going to be an octogenarian.

Seems the focus on younger audiences has made it tough for anyone to get a final “Columbo” mystery movie into production…

“We’ve tried to sell it to the networks,” said Angela Bromstad, president of NBC Universal Television Studio. “Didn’t happen. I then offered ‘Columbo: Hear No Evil’ to USA , but they wouldn’t buy it…

So, I just looked up Angela Bromstad (the real one, not the pretend one) and she’s credited with overseeing production on some of my favorite shows, like “Monk,” “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Andy Barker, P.I.” I don’t know if it’ll do much good, but I plan to send her a letter this weekend offering my services. If it would help her sell the idea of one last “Columbo,” I’ll start an online campaign. I’ll circulate petitions. I’ll have people write to advertisers. I’ll do whatever it takes. And, all I’m asking in return is to be allowed to blog every day from the set. We could create a special “Columbo” blog and keep fans posted through the entire thing. And I know that Peter would love the idea since he already thinks I’m a “terrific journalist.” I’ll keep you posted.

This entry was posted in Special Projects. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. dorothy
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    tell me how i can help. i am a HUGE colombo fan and woulod do anything to keep him going. the fact that i’m in my 70’s and have an almost unlimited income should help. advertizers like people like me—i think.

  2. egpenet
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    How’bout a “retired” Columbo … left the force and did some private investigative work for a while … is now called back by the Chief to help on a cold case that was on the books when he retired … a female student is found dead in a dorm and “no foul play was suspected,” but Columbo was on vacation when thee case was declared cold. The family persists in asking questions and the Prosecutor wants it reopeened and has asked Columbo for help. How’s that?

  3. egpenet
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Campus security found her door locked and her keys missing when they investigated. But the dorm locks were nevr changed. Where are the keys? Any other students feeling threatened? Anything missing from the dorm since the girl’s death? Tune in for the next exciting episode …

  4. mark
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Hmmmm…. Did you say, “almost unlimited income,” Dorothy?

    I can think of a lot of possibilities.

    You wouldn’t be interested in producing the episode, would you?

  5. Me
    Posted September 6, 2007 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Let me know if a campaign is in the works or planned, I will sign up.

  6. Terry Moran
    Posted September 8, 2007 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I hope that funding/backing can be found to produce a “LAST COLUMBO”, as otherwise we will be left with the 2003 episode as a very unfitting tribute to the warmth and wonder of Peter Falk.
    Maybe one of the new Russian Federation billionaires will offer the money ?
    Or we could start a “give a dollar to save Columbo” fund !

  7. mark
    Posted September 9, 2007 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to be the person pushing this, but, given current obligations, I just don’t have the time. If someone else wants to take the ball, start a petition, and organize a letter writing campaign, I’d be happy to help plan the strategy, though.

    I guess the first matter of business would be to find out how much it costs to produce an episode of Columbo. Then, we’d start an online campaign to raise that amount. I can’t help but think that there are tens of thousands of men and women out there who wouldn’t be willing to chip in $20 to help see this happen. And, I expect corporate sponsors might be found as well.

  8. Bill Madden
    Posted February 1, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Falk’s age should be no issue whatsoever.

    Remember that the first two “Columbo’s” were not spring chickens. In fact, Thomas Mitchell, Scarlett O’Hara’s father, was touring as a Broadway bound Columbo in the play Prescription Murder. This was 22 years AFTER he played Scarlett O’Hara’s father! He died while the play was in the pre-Broadway tryout stage.

    The Columbo character was underestimated by the perp (Joseph Cotton instead of Gene Barry) because he was perceived to be a bit on the doddering side, not just idiosyncratic. If they want, they can have him retired and working as a police consultant (like Monk).

    In fact, I’d love to see a Monk/Columbo movie, with both starting to work on the case in competition, then ultimately together, Monk providing the critical “whodunnit” analysis and Columbo the “howcatchem” aspect.

    I proposed a similar thing 20 years ago with Darrin Mc Gavin as a guest on a Columbo episode. Carl Kolchak would start out very antagonistic to Columbo, but eventually winds up working with him. The story line would have an occult character. Kolchak, of course, maintains that the occult aspect of the case is real. Columbo eventually shows that there is an ordinary explanation, but needs Kolchak to trap the bad guy. One loose end, however, remains. The movie ends with Kolchak admitting he was wrong about the supernatural nature of the bad guy but ends saying “But what about … (loose end)?” The final shot is Peter Falk’s “take” which shows that he has no explanation whatsoever.

    Sadly, Darrin McGavin is no longer around. I always felt that the producers made a mistake in keeping the “sci-fi/horror” theme in the Kolchak TV series. The two TV movies were great but severely limited the dramatic possibilities in a continuing series. McGavin’s character was so richly drawn that they could have had a real hit if he were an irascible reporter investigating more traditional cases.

  9. Bill Madden
    Posted February 1, 2008 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Y’know, I just thought about my previous post. What Peter Falk ought to do as his Columbo swan song is a remake of the original “Prescription Murder”. He should re-think the character as though he were Thomas Mitchell. No dog. No car. No raincoat. Maybe even no cigar. (No, wait. Forget that.) Keep what works at his age & discard the rest. He’s such a good actor that whatever he does would be great. I’d love to see what he would come up with.

  10. mark
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Bill, I like the idea very much of having Falk reinterpret his role in “Prescription Murder.” I think it’s a brilliant idea, and I’d love to watch both back to back. I think I’ve still got his office number around here somewhere. If I can find it, I’ll call and leave the idea with his secretary.

    I never actually started writing it, but my idea for a last episode involved him living in a retirement community with his wife. It would attempt to tie up a lot of loose ends. He’d be working on his memoirs or something. Then, there would be a murder. He’d suspect his neighbor. The neighbr would naturally be played by long-time Columbo nemesis Patrick McGoohan.

  11. Luc Moal
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Please sign the petition for a 70th columbo’s episode:

  12. mark
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes, of course… Best of luck with the campaign, Luc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative coal mining kids