Columbo (1971–2003)
20 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.


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
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Did You Know?


The stock footage of the apartment building for Eileen McRae is the same footage used for the residence of Beth Davenport in The Rockford Files (1974). Both shows were produced by Universal Studios. See more »


Between the opening sequence where Greenleaf meets Eddie to the faked parking lot accident and when he is discovered by cops parked in a park, the car Greenleaf's driving is a 1969 Cadillac Coupe de Ville convertible. At his house when Columbo looks out of a window at the car in the driveway, it's a 1967 model. When they go outside for Columbo to check accident damage, the car is again the original '69. See more »


Riley Greenleaf: You, and this place, deserve to be in the Valley.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Regular mystery, but not without charm
7 July 2015 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

PUBLISH OR PERISH is a short and straightforward mystery for the ever-dedicated Lieutenant Columbo. The villain of the piece in this one is series regular Jack Cassidy, playing a snotty publisher who finds himself peeved when a bestselling author cuts him off, planning to go with a rival house. He's not about to let this stand, however...

The scant running time means that PUBLISH OR PERISH is a fast-paced movie. The murder is already over and Columbo already investigating in the first twenty minutes. The twists and turns and uncovering of plot points is cleverly done, including a few things that I missed myself, and the cast is very good. Cassidy makes for a delightfully unpleasant bad guy, and real-life bestselling author Mickey Spillane has a pivotal cameo. And John David Chandler is up there with Reggie Nalder in terms of evil-looking actors.

As usual, this production belongs to the ever-great Peter Falk, who's on top form as the apparently befuddled detective. His interlude in a posh restaurant is a comic highlight , but overall the detective's force of personality has never been, well, so insistent. PUBLISH OR PERISH marks Columbo at his most dedicated.

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