The Paley Center for Media reminds us that it was on this date in 1971 that the teleflick Ransom for a Dead Man--the second pilot for what would become NBC-TV’s long-running crime drama, Columbo--was first broadcast. In Ransom, actress Lee Grant played a “brilliant tort attorney [who] gets rid of her boring husband by faking his kidnapping and keeping the ransom.” Click here to watch that picture’s opening segment, with theme music by the great Billy Goldenberg.
An earlier pilot for Columbo, 1968’s Prescription: Murder (guest-starring Gene
Barry as a homicidal physician), had been rejected as the basis for a regular prime-time series.
(Hat tip to The Bunburyist.)