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October 24, 2014

peter falk

Peter Falk, Star of 'Columbo,' Dead at 83

by Chris Harnick, posted Jun 24th 2011 2:00PM
Peter FalkPeter Falk, the Emmy-winning star of 'Columbo,' has died. He was 83.

CBS Radio News confirmed via a family spokesperson that Falk died on the evening of June 23.

Falk was best known to audiences as Lt. Columbo in the NBC/ABC police series. The last episode aired on ABC in 2003.

Besides the hit drama, Falk was nominated for two Academy Awards, for 1960's 'Murder, Inc.' and 1961's 'Pocketful of Miracles.' His last credited film role was the 2009 flick 'American Cowslip' opposite Cloris Leachman and Diane Ladd.

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Five Cop Shows That Should Never Be Remade

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 2nd 2010 6:24PM
Sgt. Esterhaus on 'Hill Street Blues'It's pilot time again and this season the networks have decided to turn back the clock, specifically on old cop and crime shows, to save their sinking ratings.

For instance, NBC is bringing back the mystery series 'The Rockford Files' with Dermot Mulroney in the role that James Garner turned into a classic TV crime fighter. CBS has also ordered a remake of the procedural cop classic 'Hawaii Five-O' with Scott Caan and Jean Smart.

Normally, my gut reacts to a TV remake the same way a person who just washed his car reacts to a line of dark clouds (a lot of cursing and shaking of fists at God or some other celestial being). However, if done right, anything has the chance to be good... unless it's one of the following cop serials, which should never be touched by a TV producer ever again.

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Daughter claims Peter Falk has Alzheimer's

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 17th 2008 9:02PM
A legendary actor in the television industry, nay, the entertainment industry has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Peter Falk's daughter, Catherine, filed for conservatorship of her father's affairs. She claims the actor's condition has gotten so bad that he "requires full-time custodial care for his health and safety."

So far the family hasn't released an official statement confirming the daughter's claims and nothing has been confirmed or denied on the actor's official website. Either way, everyone here at TV Squad wishes him and his family all the best.

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What's On Tonight: Christmas In Washington, House Of Payne, Top Chef

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 17th 2008 4:02PM
Life
  • At 8, ABC has a new Pushing Daisies, followed by new episodes of Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money.
  • CBS has a new Old Christine at 8, then new episodes of Gary Unmarried, Criminal Minds, and CSI: NY.
  • NBC has A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa at 8, followed by a new Life.
  • FOX has a new Secret Millionaire.
  • The CW has The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at 8, then a new Stylista.
  • PBS has a new Great Performances at 8.
  • There's a new Time Warp on Discovery at 8.
  • TNT has Christmas in Washington at 8, then the Patrick Stewart version of A Christmas Carol.
  • Also at 8: Nickelodeon has Christmas episodes of The Naked Brothers Band, Fairly OddParents, and Home Improvement (two episodes).
  • At 9, HGTV has White House Christmas 2008.
  • Hallmark has Peter Falk in the movie When Angels Come To Town at 9.
  • At 10, TBS has two new episodes of Tyler Perry's House of Payne.
  • Martha Stewart guest stars on a new Top Chef on Bravo at 10.
  • Sci-Fi has a new Estate of Panic at 10.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk show listings.

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The five greatest TV police detectives

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 27th 2007 3:27PM
Peter FalkWelcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

Ah, the police detective genre. It's one of the staples of a network's TV lineup. We all have our favorites, whether the characters are in blue uniforms or suits. Here are my Top 5 (and just so we're clear, I'm talking about police detectives, not private eyes or amateur investigators. I'll have that list tomorrow!)

1. Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk): No contest, really. Sure, there are some other great cops and detectives, but not many with the sheer Sherlock Holmes-like smarts as Lt. Columbo. He walked around sorta lost and bumbling, with a constantly lit cigar, a rumpled raincoat, and hair that made it look like he just woke up. But he was no fool, which all the murderers found out a little bit too late.

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More Columbo news

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 25th 2007 5:05PM

ColumboMust be Columbo week here at TV Squad. Yesterday I talked about some Columbo trivia, and today comes news that they are starting to release the movies made from 1989 and beyond.

The movies from 1989 will be released on April 24. They include Columbo Goes To The Guillotine (with Anthony Andrews), Murder, Smoke, and Mirrors (Fisher Stevens), Grand Deceptions (Robert Foxworth), Sex and the Married Detective (Lindsay Crouse), and Murder: A Self Portrait (Patrick Bauchau). The set will be three discs and probably won't have many (if any) extras on them.

The movies aren't as good as the regular series movies from the late 60s and the 70s (though I like the Andrews episode, where he plays a murderous magician). They just aren't as clever as the older shows were, though a few from the 90s were pretty fun. Those will (hopefully) be released later in the year.

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Peter Falk says that he provided Columbo's raincoat

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 4th 2006 4:31PM
Peter FalkAnyone over the age of 35 has probably caught at least one epsiode of Columbo. It has to be one of the most complete characterizations in TV history; everything from his manner of speaking to his crappy car, tan suit and rumpled raincoat tells you that Columbo wasn't your average cop.

Must have been some genius costume designer working his or her magic, right? Not according to Peter Falk.

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Lt. Columbo helps the Alias gang

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 10th 2006 4:34PM
AliasI know, I know, it seems like this is Columbo week here at TV Squad, but you've got to watch this. It's a video made for the 50th Anniversary of ABC a couple of years ago. I didn't watch the show, but I'm glad someone put it up on YouTube. Columbo has been called in to help Sydney, Jack, Vaughn and the rest of the team.

Who asked him to help out, and what is he supposed to help with? Well, you'll just have to watch it to see. You don't usually see a crossover episode involving two of your favorite shows, so this was a great find. Very funny stuff.

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OK, so maybe Columbo's first name was actually Frank

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 9th 2006 1:44PM
Frank Columbo's badgeTo update this post, where I said Lt. Columbo's name was Philip, I'd like to point you to the Wikipedia page for Columbo, that shows a screen cap from the episode "Dead Weight." It's a pic of Columbo's badge, and the pic clearly shows that his name is "Frank Columbo." The Wikipedia page says that the name "Philip" didn't start with the Kate Columbo series, but in a trivia book (which I used to own) by Fred L. Worth. He made up the name, hoping to catch people stealing trivia from his book (he sued Trivial Pursuit for $300 million, but the judge sided with Trivial Pursuit's defense that it was "research").

Of course, this doesn't put the whole story to rest. Even though it says "Frank Columbo" on his badge in the pic from the episode, it could have been just a name they came up with to fill in the first name spot on the badge, not thinking that anyone would actually catch it and hold them to it (this was before VCRs and DVDs, of course).

So, is it Philip or Frank? Until someone from the show says something 100% definite, we have to go with the evidence we have. Just like Columbo would. And in my opinion, the facts lean toward Frank.

Check out this Columbo site for the full background story.

[thanks to Bill for the info]

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Columbo's first name was Philip

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 8th 2006 5:49PM
Peter FalkI heard this many years ago, and now TV Guide's Televisionary talks about it after getting a question from a reader.

When Columbo first started in the late 60s (first as the movie Prescription Murder, and then as part of the NBC Mystery Movie in the 70s), they never said what Columbo's first name was. He was always just "Lt. Columbo" or "Columbo,"  and they never even played with the audience in any way, like showing a piece of paper with a thumb blocking his first name or anything like that. They just never addressed it. But when a spinoff show was made in the 80s (yes, there was a spinoff to Columbo), Kate Columbo, they finally revealed his name as "Philip." The spinoff did what Columbo did, only in reverse: they showed his wife all the time, solving mysteries, but they never showed her husband. I remember seeing this show, and it wasn't that great. Later they even changed the name of the show to get rid of the Columbo connection.

Now, this doesn't mean that his first name was "officially" Philip. It might be one of those cases where some other show answered a question, but it was never made official, sort of like how the new Superman movie pretends that Superman III and IV never happened. But it's a cool trivia question to ask your friends.

Update: As reader Bill points out in the comments, check out the Wikipedia page on Columbo for more clues about his first name.

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Falk would like to make a Columbo movie

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 7th 2006 12:06PM
columboPeter Falk, the 78 year old actor who played the disheveled but brilliant detective Columbo for ten seasons, not to mention a ton of made-for-TV movies, says he would love to reprise the role for the big screen if the right script ever came along. Falk says the script must begin with a murder scene and "one thing that only Columbo would see." My guess is that if they ever did make a Columbo movie (and why wouldn't the Hollywood machine churn out yet another rehash?) they'd probably find someone younger to play the role in order to secure the right demographics.

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