The premise of that marriage was quickly and permanently dispensed with in both MRS. COLUMBO and the COLUMBO series itself.
|Posted: 09 March 2019 at 9:02am | IP Logged | 3
According to the book, "The Columbo Phile" by Mark Dawidziak, the network wanted a cheaper, easier-to-produce version of COLUMBO to continue with following the end of Falk's association with the role in 1978. COLUMBO creators Richard Levinson and William Link were invited to create a show around the detective's oft-mentioned but never seen wife. They told the network it was a bad idea and that it shouldn't be done. The network told them they would go ahead with or without them. Reluctantly, Levinson and Link suggested casting actress Maureen Stapleton in the role. That was shot down. They tested actresses and suggested Zohla Lampert. Again, their recommendation was rejected by the network who wanted someone young and sexy in the role, so Levinson and Link left the project.
The show itself lasted only thirteen episodes and under criticism from audiences and critics over the basic "sacrilege" of showing us Columbo's wife, but not Columbo, a reverse of the situation in the COLUMBO movies, underwent a series of title changes from MRS. COLUMBO to KATE COLUMBO to KATE THE DETECTIVE to KATE LOVES A MYSTERY. By the time of that final iteration, the character of "Kate Callahan" was divorced from her policeman husband who was now only referred to as "Phillip."
When Columbo returned to television in1989, he and his wife were still happily married and she remained unseen thereafter. Levinson has joked that had he the chance to do so, he'd have had the detective mention that someone had been running around impersonating his wife, someone young and attractive. "She's charging things," he'd have had the detective complain.
Falk himself said of the show, "It was a bad idea. I would have preferred that it was never done. It was disgraceful."
Edited by Brian Hague on 09 March 2019 at 12:52pm