Columbo: “Just One More Thing…”

Columbo is a classic American television show known for its unique style and captivating storylines. The show falls under the genre of police procedural and mystery drama, which was first aired on NBC in 1971. Peter Falk plays the lead role of Lieutenant Columbo, a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Columbo boasted a star-studded cast, including some of the most prominent actors of the time, such as Jack Cassidy, Robert Culp, and Patrick McGoohan.

Columbo is also known for its iconic theme song, which was composed by Billy Goldenberg. The show has also spawned several spin-offs, including Mrs. Columbo, which aired for two seasons from 1979 to 1980. The show is also famous for its catchphrases, one of which is “Just one more thing,” which is often used by Columbo to ask a final question to the suspect. Columbo has become a cult classic and is still loved by fans worldwide.

peter falk as columbo
Photo Credit: Everrett Collection


Columbo is a classic American detective television show. The show is known for its unique style, combining crime drama, mystery, and comedy elements. The show was created by William Link and Richard Levinson, who also created other popular shows like Murder, She Wrote and Mannix.

Columbo’s genre is often called an “inverted detective story.” Unlike traditional detective shows, where the audience follows the detective as they solve the crime, Columbo shows the audience who committed the crime at the beginning of the episode. The rest of the episode is dedicated to watching Lieutenant Columbo, played by Peter Falk, unravel the mystery and catch the culprit.

The show’s genre was a hit with audiences and critics alike, earning numerous awards and nominations throughout its run. The show’s unique format allowed for a fresh take on the classic detective story and entertained viewers.

Number of Seasons and Episodes

Columbo premiered on NBC on September 15, 1971. 

The original show ran for a total of ten seasons, from 1971 to 1978 on NBC, and its reboot ran from 1989 to 2003 on ABC. The original Columbo has a total of 69 episodes, each approximately 90 minutes long. The show has been credited with revolutionizing the detective genre, and its popularity has led to numerous spin-offs and adaptations worldwide.

Here is a breakdown of the number of seasons and episodes from the original series.:

Season 17
Season 28
Season 38
Season 46
Season 56
Season 63
Season 75
Season 84
Season 96
Season 1014

The revival episodes added another 24, bringing the grand total to 93 episodes.

Some notable episodes include “Murder by the Book,” “Death Lends a Hand,” “A Stitch in Crime,” and “The Conspirators.” 


Columbo is known for its iconic cast, particularly the titular character played by Peter Falk. Falk’s portrayal of the disheveled, seemingly bumbling detective won over audiences and earned him four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

detective tv show columbo
Photo Credit: ABC

Throughout the show’s run, Falk was joined by a rotating cast of guest stars, many of whom were well-known actors at the time. Some of the most memorable guest stars include Johnny Cash, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, and Faye Dunaway.

In addition to Falk and the guest stars, there were also several recurring characters throughout the show’s run. These included Columbo’s long-suffering wife, played by Shera Danese, and his boss, played by John Finnegan.

Theme Song

The theme song for Columbo is one of the most recognizable and iconic in television history. The song, “This Old Man,” is a traditional English nursery rhyme adapted for the show.

The theme song was composed by Billy Goldenberg, who wrote the music for many other popular television shows, including Kojak and Rhoda. The song was first used in the pilot episode of Columbo, and it quickly became associated with the show.

The song is played during the opening credits of each episode, and it sets the tone for the show. The slow, deliberate melody perfectly matches the character of Columbo, who is known for his methodical, careful approach to solving crimes. The song is also a nod to the show’s roots in the detective genre, as it has a classic, almost noir-like feel.

Over the years, the theme song has become a cultural touchstone, often parodied or referenced in other media. The song has been covered by many artists, including jazz pianist Dave Brubeck and rock band The Ventures.


Due to its popularity, Columbo has had several spin-offs over the years. Here are some of the most notable:

  • The Mrs. Columbo Mysteries: This spin-off aired from 1979 to 1980 and starred Kate Mulgrew as the wife of the famous detective. Despite its short run, the show gained a significant following.
  • Columbo Goes to the Guillotine: This 1989 made-for-TV movie was the first of several spin-offs that aired in the 1990s. It starred Peter Falk as Columbo and was well-received by fans.
  • Columbo Cries Wolf: Another made-for-TV movie, this one aired in 1990 and featured Falk as Columbo investigating a murder at a ski resort.

In addition to these spin-offs, numerous attempts have been made to revive the series over the years. In the early 2000s, there were rumors of a new Columbo series starring Mark Ruffalo, but nothing ever came of it. More recently, there have been talks of a Columbo movie, but nothing has been confirmed.

Despite the lack of new content, Columbo remains a beloved classic that continues to be enjoyed by audiences around the world.

Famous Quotes

Columbo is a television show known for its iconic quotes that have become popular culture references. Here are some of the most famous quotes from the show:

  • “Just one more thing…” – Lieutenant Columbo
  • “It’s funny, isn’t it? How you can know somebody for years and never really know them?” – Lieutenant Columbo

These quotes have become synonymous with the character of Lieutenant Columbo and are often used in pop culture references or parodies. The character’s signature catchphrase, “Just one more thing…” has become a popular meme and is often used in humorous contexts.

Another famous quote from the show is from the episode “Suitable for Framing” where the character Dale Kingston says, “I’m not a violent man, Lieutenant. I’m a businessman.” This quote has become a popular reference in pop culture and is often used in memes or parodies.