The sixtieth episode of Columbo was titled It’s All in the Game and was the first episode of the show’s twelfth season. Columbo faces a unique distraction as a killer uses her femininity to take his eye off the ball. In this podcast Gerry and Iain look at an imperfect seduction.
Lauren Staton (Faye Dunaway) and her daughter Lisa Martin (Claudia Christian) are being two-timed by sleazy gigolo Nick Franco (Armando Pucci). When Franco is violent and threatening towards Martin they determine the best way to eliminate the threat is to kill him before he can harm her further.
There is a tight cast in this episode, with Bill Macy‘s apartment complex manager Ruddick and John Finnegan‘s philosophical barman Barney the primary support as Peter Falk and Dunaway feature prominently (the actress would go on to win an Emmy for her performance). Shelley Morrison had a brief appearance as the victim’s maid (and would of course go on to find prominence as a maid in Will and Grace). Jack Shearer headed a team of unnamed investigators.
Vincent McEveety returned to director his fourth episode, following Rest in Peace, Mrs Columbo, Death Hits the Jackpot and A Bird in the Hand…. On this occasion his writer was Peter Falk himself – a script he had reportedly been saving for years, waiting for the perfect guest star to play Lauren Staton.
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It’s All in the Game was released in 1993. It is 98 minutes long and originally aired on the ABC network. This episode is not available on Netflix, but can be found on the Season 10 or complete collection DVD box sets from Universal (all remaining episodes are considered ‘Season 10’ in the DVD collection).