Columbo (1971–2003)
19 user 6 critic

Publish or Perish 

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



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Mallory
Eddie Kane (as John Chandler)
Lou D'Allessandro
David Chase
Security Guard
Vern Rowe ...
Lab Technician
George Brenlin ...
J.S. Johnson ...


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

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 January 1974 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


If you pay attention to piano being played in the bar you will notice that its the exact same music used as a theme in the previous episode starring Jack Cassidy: Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971). See more »


Just before the manuscript service arrives, Columbo is drinking from a red plastic cup, like a thermos top. When the man arrives and Columbo speaks to him, the cup is gone. Even after he rises from his chair and spins it around so the desk top comes into view, the cup is nowhere to be seen. See more »


Lieutenant Columbo: Excuse me, I don't need a parking check?
Parking Attendant: [pointedly] Mister, I'll remember your car.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

an annoying inconsistency
3 August 2016 | by See 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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