101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1971-1976; ABC, 1989-1993

As a writing team, Richard Levinson and William Link were an anomaly, given that they started writing together in junior high. ''I think we were the oldest team in Hollywood,'' Link told The New York Times, shortly after Levinson's death in 1987, at age 52. The duo was responsible for the series Mannix, Ellery Queen, and Murder, She Wrote. With Columbo, they gave audiences arguably the most beloved detective in the history of series television a character as inwardly canny as he was outwardly muddled. Asked in 1995 by radio interviewer Terry Gross what the part of Columbo was like when he first read it, star Peter Falk said: "It was very good. It was somebody that I immediately wanted to play. The basic thrust of a guy appearing less than he actually is, that was always there. That disarming quality of not ever appearing formidable was always there."

Credited Writers

Myrna Bercovici
Howard Berk
Robert Blees
Jeffrey Bloom
Steven Bochco
Booker T. Bradshaw, Jr.
Stephen J. Cannell
Larry Cohen
William Driskill
John Dugan
Peter S. Feibleman
Peter S. Feldman
Peter Alan Fields
Peter Fischer
Henry Garson
Jackson Gillis
Dean Hargrove
Shirl Hendryx
Evan Hunter
William Kelley
Roland Kibbee
Jonathan Latimer
Anthony Lawrence
Tom Lazarus
Richard Levinson
David P. Lewis
William Link
Patrick McGoohan
Jim Menzies
Irving Pearlberg
Lester Pine
Tina Pine
Brad Radnitz
David Rayfiel
Stanley R. Ross
Lou Shaw
Barney Slater
Michael Sloan
Robert Specht
Gene Thompson
Paul Tuckahoe
Lawrence Vail
Robert Van Scoyk
William Read Woodfield
Robert Malcolm Young