Columbo (1971–2003)
19 user 7 critic

Publish or Perish 

A publisher hires a bomb enthusiast to murder a bestselling author of sex novels. Lt. Columbo is on the case.


Robert Butler


Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Jack Cassidy ... Riley Greenleaf
Mickey Spillane ... Alan Mallory
Mariette Hartley ... Eileen McRae
Jacques Aubuchon ... Jeffrey Neal
John Davis Chandler ... Eddie Kane (as John Chandler)
Gregory Sierra ... Lou D'Allessandro
Alan Fudge ... David Chase
Paul Shenar ... Sgt. Young
Jack Bender ... Wolpert
Ted Gehring ... Security Guard
Vern Rowe Vern Rowe ... Restaurant Manager
Lew Palter ... Lab Technician
George Brenlin George Brenlin ... Locksmith
J.S. Johnson J.S. Johnson ... Palmer


Riley Greenleaf is a publisher and Alan Mallory, a successful writer, is his principal asset. But Alan Mallory has decided to change publishers. Riley threatens to kill Alan. Then he hires Eddie Kane, a Vietnam veteran, to murder Alan and to leave evidence that the killer is Riley himself, who has an excellent alibi. But a key will betray him. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 January 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kustannusliike See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Columbo reviews the key plot points from a previous episode, Columbo: Candidate for Crime (1973). Riley Greenleaf responds, "Lieutenant, very frankly, I don't give a damn about your senator or your story." See more »


Although Greenleaf's publishing company is located in Los Angeles (where Columbo works), a cover letter is addressed to him in New York City. See more »


Jeffrey Neal: The Trout Amondine is very good.
See more »


References Columbo: Candidate for Crime (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

an annoying inconsistency
3 August 2016 | by Atschmid5322See all my reviews

I love Columbo. Have almost all of them on DVD.

But Publish or PErish strikes me as one of the more poorly written episodes.

In particular, one giant inconsistency. Riley Grrenleaf has an alcoholic blackout, he claims, and has no alibi for the time his best selling author was murdered. Riley greenleaf is the authors long-time publisher and is being dumped.

He is examining his car with Lt Columbo, noting a great deal of damage. The phone rings and Greenleaf's attorney goes in to answer the phone. When he returns he gloats to both Columbo and Greenleaf, that the latter has an ironclad alibi even he doesn't know about. He was in Encino the night before, getting drunk. HE had an accident with his car, was eventually arrested and spent the night int he drunk tank until he, the lawyer, bailed him out that morning.

So my question is, if Columbo is there asking all these questions about where Riley Greenleaf was at the time of the murder, why didn't the lawyer pipe up with this information at THAT time? Instead he lets Greenleaf squirm. He just told us he, the lawyer bailed greenleaf out of the drunk tank that morning.

Makes me nuts every single time I see this episode.

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