Columbo (season 9)

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Columbo (season 9)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 6
Original network ABC
Original release November 25, 1989 (1989-11-25) – May 14, 1990 (1990-05-14)
Season chronology
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Season 8
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Season 10
List of Columbo episodes

This is a list of episodes from the ninth season of Columbo.

Broadcast history[edit]

The season originally aired Saturdays at 9:00-11:00 pm (ET) as part of The ABC Saturday Mystery, except for the last episode, which aired on a Monday.

DVD release[edit]

The season was released on DVD by Universal Home Video.


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Murderer played by Victim played by Original air date Runtime
50 1 "Murder: A Self Portrait" James Frawley Robert Sherman Patrick Bauchau Fionnula Flanagan November 25, 1989 (1989-11-25) 88 minutes

Temperamental artist Max Barsini (Patrick Bauchau) effectively lives with three women: his ex-wife, Louise (Fionnula Flanagan), his young live-in model Julie (Isabel García Lorca), and his current wife Vanessa (Shera Danese). Barsini takes delight in the way they fight for his attention. But when Louise begins seeing a therapist, Dr. Hammer (George Coe), who is also her new fiancé, Barsini fears she will reveal that he killed his first agent, who was robbing him. He kills Louise, then makes it look like she drowned at the beach while he was in his studio, painting. Columbo poses for Barsini while investigating him.

Final clue/twist: Columbo can prove that a spot on Louise's face was not washed-up make-up but was instead remnants of "Barsini red", a special color mixed only for Barsini, and that it was on the cloth she was benumbed with.
51 2 "Columbo Cries Wolf" Daryl Duke William Read Woodfield Ian Buchanan Deidre Hall January 20, 1990 (1990-01-20) 90 minutes

When Dian Hunter (Deidre Hall), the partner of men's magazine publisher Sean Brantley (Ian Buchanan), goes missing after expressing a desire to sell her 51% interest to a rival, suspicion falls on Brantley and his girlfriend Tina (Rebecca Staab). Columbo sets out to find the body, eventually digging up much of Brantley's estate. But once the event turns into a full-blown media event, Dian resurfaces, explaining she needed some time to herself. Sales and the magazine's value are increased by the controversy, but to Brantley's shock, she still intends to sell. He proceeds to then kill Hunter for real and hides the body, believing that Columbo won't fall for the same trick twice.

Richard Levinson and William Link wrote the story for this episode, but were uncredited.

Final clue/twist: Columbo gets suspicious when he sees all but one of Dian's fur coats in plastic wrappings, assuming that Brantley used the missing wrapping as a bodybag. Knowing that his department won't support him in a second investigation, he uses the (now dated) texting-function of Dian's wristlet to locate her body behind the new bathroom wall, brought down by some handworkers as witnesses.
52 3 "Agenda for Murder" Patrick McGoohan Jeffrey Bloom Patrick McGoohan Louis Zorich February 10, 1990 (1990-02-10) 88 minutes

Oscar Finch (Patrick McGoohan) is a lawyer who uses underhanded methods to get his clients off, like coercing Paul Mackey (Denis Arndt), who worked for the D.A.'s office, into destroying evidence against racketeer Frank Staplin (Louis Zorich) in 1969. Twenty-one years later, Mackey is chosen by a presidential candidate, Governor Montgomery (Arthur Hill), to be his Vice Presidential running mate. Finch himself hopes that he might be appointed as the next Attorney General. Staplin, facing another indictment, threatens to expose the long-ago favor and ruin Finch's and Mackey's political futures if he doesn't arrange the destruction of another document. Finch decides to murder him. He scatters cigar ashes to make it seem he was in a late-night meeting with a contributor when the murder occurred. Finch walks to Staplin's house, shoots him and makes his death look like a suicide.

Final clue/twist: After Columbo learns that Staplin hasn't eaten any of the cheese on the dish at the crime scene, but that the block of cheese had had a piece bitton off from it, he assumes that the murderer must have taken a bite. CSI can fabricate a toothprint from the cheese and Columbo finds more than enough samples of Finch's toothprint on his discarded pieces of chewing gums - proving that he was at the crime scene. Columbo puts the bite on him, so to speak.

McGoohan won a second Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, following his part in "By Dawn's Early Light".
53 4 "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo" Vincent McEveety Peter S. Fischer Helen Shaver Edward Winter March 31, 1990 (1990-03-31) 88 minutes

Vivian Dimitri (Helen Shaver) is a real-estate executive whose recently deceased husband had been sent to prison by Columbo. She seeks revenge by plotting to kill Columbo and his wife. But first she murders her boss, Charlie Chambers (Edward Winter), her husband's partner who avoided prison by informing on him. Vivian shoots Chambers in his office, using her affair with married Leland St. John (Ian McShane) to establish an alibi. Then she plants evidence to make it look like Chambers was killed by disgruntled residents of a new housing development. Her plan is then to kill the Columbos with a jar of poisoned marmalade. Roscoe Lee Browne plays her psychiatrist, Dr. Steadman.

Final clue/twist: Columbo fakes the death of his wife. After the "funeral", Columbo invites Vivian into his house. He makes himself toast on which he spreads marmalade. While Columbo acts like he's poisoned, Vivian confesses the murder. He then tells her that he suspected her all along and had the jar of marmalade she gave him tested for poison before he gave it to his wife, and replaced it with another.

Aired under the ABC Saturday Mystery.[1]
54 5 "Uneasy Lies the Crown" Alan J. Levi Steven Bochco James Read Marshall R. Teague April 28, 1990 (1990-04-28) 90 minutes

Dentist to the stars Dr. Wesley Corman (James Read) decides to get rid of his unfaithful wife Lydia (Jo Anderson) and use her money to support his gambling habit. So when Adam Evans (Marshall R. Teague), a Hollywood heartthrob having an affair with Corman's wife, comes under the dentist's care, Corman puts a time-release poison made from digitalis under a dental crown, one that takes effect just as Evans is making love to Corman's wife that evening, thereby framing her for the murder. Paul Burke co-stars as Horace Sherwin, Lydia's father, also a dentist.

Final clue/twist: Columbo traps Corman by taking advantage of the fact that Corman was never good at chemistry. He orders Evans' body exhumed and tells Corman that if there was indeed digitalis, it would have caused a chemical reaction with the porcelain in the crown, making a blue stain on Evans' tooth underneath the crown. Before they begin to examine Evans' mouth, Corman confesses. Of course, digitalis on porcelain does not really have any chemical reaction.

This same storyline was first used in the MacMillan & Wife episode "Affair of the Heart" that had aired in 1977. Bochco shared writing credit for the earlier version with Leonard Stern.
55 6 "Murder in Malibu" Walter Grauman Jackson Gillis Andrew Stevens Janet Margolin May 14, 1990 (1990-05-14) 92 minutes

Jess McCurdy (Brenda Vaccaro) fails to convince her sister, best-selling romance novelist Theresa Goren (Janet Margolin), to cancel her wedding to Wayne Jennings (Andrew Stevens), a playboy/tennis bum half her age and a golddigger. McCurdy impersonates her sister on the phone with Jennings and dumps him. Jennings reacts by killing Goren - twice. He arranges an alibi for the first murder, then returns and shoots her corpse. He allows Columbo to "catch" him for the second murder, which he confesses, but then "learns" that he had only shot a corpse, so is innocent of murder, which he assumes will be blamed on a burglar..

Final clue/twist: Columbo untangles the plot with his surprisingly detailed familiarity with the location of the tag on women's panties. He proved that someone else put Goren's underwear onto her corpse, and that this someone could only be a man, because only a man would put the panties on backwards. A murderous burglar wouldn't have bothered to dress the corpse; only Jennings would have a reason to do so, to help his alibi.


  1. ^ "COLUMBO: REST IN PEACE MRS. COLUMBO {ABC SATURDAY MYSTERY} (TV)". The Paley Center For Media. Retrieved 10 September 2013.