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."

Highlights
William Link on the creation of Murder, She Wrote and originally considering Jean Stapleton for the lead role
07:01
William Link on the genesis, writing, production, format, cast and other details about his best-known series, Columbo
15:47
William Link on the death of his writing/producing partner Richard Levinson
05:38
William Link on the signature elements of Columbo
08:05
William Link on the genesis and production of Mannix
07:20
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
12:01
On moving to Universal Studios; on the executives there
06:11
On the creation and production of Mannix
07:20
On the influence of mystery novels on the creation of Columbo
03:05

Chapter 4

On the creation (with Richard Levinson), writing, production, and format of his best-known series, Columbo
15:47
On casting Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo; on the Columbo TV movies
13:23

Chapter 5

On the signature elements of Columbo; on some of its directors (including a young Steven Spielberg)
14:20
On the signature elements of Columbo; on his favorite episodes
14:48

Chapter 6

On the legacy of Columbo
06:53
On his writing style
18:22
On some of his television movies

Chapter 7

On My Sweet Charlie
05:56
On the pilot of McCloud; on That Certain Summer
10:34
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
05:38
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
16:07
Shows

Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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William Link on writing for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
03:30

Columbo

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William Link on the influence of mystery novels on the creation of Columbo
03:05
William Link on the genesis, writing, production, format, cast and other details about his best-known series, Columbo
15:47
William Link on Columbo star Peter Falk.
09:11
William Link on Lt. Columbo's first name.
00:45
William Link on the Columbo TV movies.
03:27
William Link on Columbo's schedule; on some of its directors
14:20
William Link on the signature elements of Columbo
08:05
William Link on his favorite episodes of Columbo
06:43
William Link on the legacy of Columbo
06:53

Cosby Mysteries, The

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William Link on The Cosby Mysteries
04:33

Execution of Private Slovik, The

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William Link on writing and producing The Execution of Private Slovik
06:08

Fugitive, The

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William Link on being a freelance writer on The Fugitive
02:38

Gun, The

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William Link on the controversial TV movie, The Gun
02:33

Mannix

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William Link on the genesis and production of Mannix
07:20

McCloud

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William Link on the pilot of McCloud
01:41

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
07:01

My Sweet Charlie

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William Link on My Sweet Charlie
05:56

Storyteller, The

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William Link on the anti-violence TV movie, The Storyteller
00:51

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
03:27

That Certain Summer

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer
07:55
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer
07:55

Characters & Catchphrases

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William Link on Lt. Columbo's trademark raincoat, car and cigars
03:26

LGBTQ

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer
07:55

Pop Culture

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William Link on Lt. Columbo's trademark raincoat, car and cigars
03:26
Professions

Writers

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William Link on his writing style 
18:22
Genres

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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William Link on the genesis and production of Mannix
07:20
William Link on the legacy of Columbo
06:53

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer
07:55
People

Mike Connors

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William Link on the genesis and production of Mannix
07:20

Bill Cosby

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William Link on The Cosby Mysteries
04:33

Barry Diller

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer
07:55

Peter Falk

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William Link on Peter Falk
09:11
William Link on how Peter Falk worked with directors (including a young Steven Spielberg) on Columbo
04:25
William Link on the signature elements of Columbo
08:05

Hal Holbrook

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William Link on writing and producing That Certain Summer
07:55

Lamont Johnson

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William Link on writing and producing The Execution of Private Slovik
06:08

Jennings Lang

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William Link on moving to Universal Studios; on the executives there
06:11

Angela Lansbury

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William Link on the creation of Murder, She Wrote and originally considering Jean Stapleton for the lead role
07:01

Richard Levinson

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William Link on moving to Universal Studios; on the executives there
06:11
William Link on Terrorist on Trial
03:27
William Link on the death of his writing/producing partner Richard Levinson
05:38

Norman Lloyd

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William Link on writing for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
03:30

Martin Sheen

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William Link on writing and producing The Execution of Private Slovik
06:08

Frank Sinatra

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William Link on writing and producing The Execution of Private Slovik
06:08

Aaron Spelling

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William Link on Aaron Spelling
02:08

Steven Spielberg

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William Link on how Peter Falk worked with directors (including a young Steven Spielberg) on Columbo
04:25

Jean Stapleton

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William Link on the creation of Murder, She Wrote and originally considering Jean Stapleton for the lead role
07:01

Lew Wasserman

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William Link on moving to Universal Studios; on the executives there
06:11

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