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Jeff Cava’s Columbo Episode


I’ve written before about my late friend Jeff Cava, who was a mensch and left us far too soon.


Jeff’s biggest triumph, and also biggest heartbreak, was a 2001 Columbo episode he wrote about a film composer who murders his ghostwriter, “Murder With Too Many Notes.”


Jeff had always aspired to be a screenwriter, and the fact that he wrote a Columbo episode on spec, while a young production assistant at Universal, and it actually got bought and produced was a huge achievement.


However, the episode’s director, Patrick McGoohan (yes, the actor), rewrote the script and made a mess of it. I know Jeff told me the story once, but it seemed such a source of pain I think I was cringing the whole time, in empathy. So I don’t really remember the details.



It’s a frustrating Hollywood tale, but many thanks to Glenn at the team at the Columbo site for their dedication to the truth, and to Jeff’s memory.

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excession30
excession30
2023年7月12日

Submitting a script on spec was just giving the go-ahead to be taken advantage of. Writers in Hollywood have to have the mindset of Harlan Ellison, to some degree.

いいね!

I did enjoy the casting of the murderous maestro—I kept seeing the Mirror Universe Michael Kamen on screen...

いいね!

Victor Field
Victor Field
2023年6月04日

Patrick McGoohan was a frequent "Columbo" villain.. Including the last episode before the '90s episodes. I do wonder if Billy Connolly was cast for his resemblance to Michael Kamen!

いいね!

The same Patrick McGoohan who ruined the end of the Prisoner...one of the best tv shows ever made.

いいね!
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