William Link

Show Creator/ Writer/ Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, William Link speaks about his long collaboration with partner Richard Levinson on such projects as television movies My Sweet Charlie and That Certain Summer. He discusses further collaborations with Levinson on the TV series Columbo and Murder, She Wrote. He also speaks about writing for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Fugitive. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on August 23, 2002 in Beverly Hills, CA .

"The mysteries were intellectual exercises full of twists and surprises. We had fun doing them -- as much as you can have fun under very tight television schedules and budgets and trying to get the best work out of your actors."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
William Link on the creation of Murder, She Wrote and originally considering Jean Stapleton for the lead role
William Link on the genesis, writing, production, format, cast and other details about his best-known series, Columbo
William Link on the death of his writing/producing partner Richard Levinson
William Link on the signature elements of Columbo
William Link on the genesis and production of Mannix
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and education; on meeting his future collaborator Richard Levinson on his first day of junior high

Chapter 2

On his education; on his first television work at Four Star

Chapter 3

On working at Four Star; on what was expected of freelance writers; on writing for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Fugitive
On moving to Universal Studios; on the executives there
On the creation and production of Mannix
On the influence of mystery novels on the creation of Columbo

Chapter 4

On the creation (with Richard Levinson), writing, production, and format of his best-known series, Columbo
On casting Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo; on the Columbo TV movies

Chapter 5

On the signature elements of Columbo; on some of its directors (including a young Steven Spielberg)
On the signature elements of Columbo; on his favorite episodes

Chapter 6

On the legacy of Columbo
On his writing style
On some of his television movies

Chapter 7

On My Sweet Charlie
On the pilot of McCloud; on That Certain Summer
On The Execution of Private Slovik; on The Gun; on The Storyteller; on Terrorist on Trial

Chapter 8

On the death of his writing/producing partner Richard Levinson
On mystery series; on Murder She Wrote; on The Cosby Mysteries; on then-current projects; on his proudest achievement and biggest regrets

Chapter 9

On being inducted into the Academy Hall of Fame; advice and legacy
Shows

Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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William Link on writing for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

Columbo

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William Link on the influence of mystery novels on the creation of Columbo
William Link on the genesis, writing, production, format, cast and other details about his best-known series, Columbo
William Link on Columbo star Peter Falk.
William Link on Lt. Columbo's first name.
William Link on the Columbo TV movies.
William Link on Columbo's schedule; on some of its directors
William Link on the signature elements of Columbo
William Link on his favorite episodes of Columbo
William Link on the legacy of Columbo

Cosby Mysteries, The

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William Link on The Cosby Mysteries

Execution of Private Slovik, The

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William Link on writing and producing The Execution of Private Slovik

Fugitive, The

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William Link on being a freelance writer on The Fugitive

Gun, The

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William Link on the controversial TV movie, The Gun

Mannix

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William Link on the genesis and production of Mannix

McCloud

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William Link on the pilot of McCloud

Murder, She Wrote

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William Link on the creation of Murder, She Wrote and originally considering Jean Stapleton for the lead role

My Sweet Charlie

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William Link on My Sweet Charlie

Storyteller, The

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William Link on the anti-violence TV movie, The Storyteller

Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami

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William Link on Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami

That Certain Summer

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer

Characters & Catchphrases

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William Link on Lt. Columbo's trademark raincoat, car and cigars

LGBTQ

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer

Pop Culture

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William Link on Lt. Columbo's trademark raincoat, car and cigars
Professions

Writers

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William Link on his writing style 
Genres

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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William Link on the genesis and production of Mannix
William Link on the legacy of Columbo

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer
People

Mike Connors

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William Link on the genesis and production of Mannix

Bill Cosby

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William Link on The Cosby Mysteries

Barry Diller

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer

Peter Falk

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William Link on Peter Falk
William Link on how Peter Falk worked with directors (including a young Steven Spielberg) on Columbo
William Link on the signature elements of Columbo

Hal Holbrook

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer

Lamont Johnson

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William Link on writing and producing The Execution of Private Slovik

Jennings Lang

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William Link on moving to Universal Studios; on the executives there

Angela Lansbury

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William Link on the creation of Murder, She Wrote and originally considering Jean Stapleton for the lead role

Richard Levinson

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William Link on moving to Universal Studios; on the executives there
William Link on Terrorist on Trial
William Link on the death of his writing/producing partner Richard Levinson

Norman Lloyd

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William Link on writing for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

Martin Sheen

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William Link on writing and producing The Execution of Private Slovik

Frank Sinatra

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William Link on writing and producing The Execution of Private Slovik

Aaron Spelling

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William Link on Aaron Spelling

Steven Spielberg

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William Link on how Peter Falk worked with directors (including a young Steven Spielberg) on Columbo

Jean Stapleton

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William Link on the creation of Murder, She Wrote and originally considering Jean Stapleton for the lead role

Lew Wasserman

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William Link on moving to Universal Studios; on the executives there

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