It took 45 years for 'Columbo' creators to receive millions owed from the show
Just one more thing, where's the money?
The Emmy-winning run of stellar detective show Columbo began on NBC in 1968 and extended through a staggered 10 seasons, eventually moving to ABC in 1989 for its final three seasons and subsequent specials. It was the product of a collaboration between writer/producers Richard Levinson and William Link, who were also responsible for Mannix, Murder, She Wrote and Ellery Queen.
You'd never guess each time you saw their names when the credits rolled that they were being deprived of part of the profits reaped from their imaginative outpouring, but that's what a recently reported lawsuit alleges. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Levinson waited 45 years to get his first glimpse of an accounting statement on Columbo from Universal City Studios. Along with the statement, the studio also sent a check for $2.3 million in past due profits that the studio had yet to pay out to the series creators. That's a lot of money to forget to send along!
Unfortunately, Levinson passed away well before that pay day would come, and now both Link and Levinson's heirs are stuck in a legal battle with the studio for the rest of the money that the statement shows is owed, as well as other damages associated with the contract breach.
For fans of the show, this will sadly become the final case to consider in Columbo's long history of helping folks find justice. We're hoping Link and Levinson's family can solve the mystery of their missing money.