Prescription: Murder | 1967
In the first of two telefeature pilots for the "Columbo" series (1971-78), the wily, rumpled Los Angeles police lieutenant -- one of TV's great fictional personalities -- plays an engaging cat-and-mouse game with a prominent psychiatrist who thinks he has created the perfect crime in the murder of his wife. Originally staged several years earlier in a coast-to-coast tour (but never reaching Broadway), the play co-starred Joseph Cotten and his wife, Patricia Medina, with Columbo being portrayed by Thomas Mitchell in his last stage appearance. When creators Levinson and Link subsequently planned to bring their detective to television, their original choice for the part was Bing Crosby. Only when he turned them down did they select Peter Falk.