I know that some of you are overseas and you do not get this channel. However herr in the United States we have a cable television channel called Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.
Well it turns out that they are chopping scenes out of Columbo episodes. For instance, at the end of Dagger of the Mind, the scene where Columbo shows Dirk the trick of flipping a bead into the umbrella was completely cut out. To me that was a critical scene. And why are they cutting out all this stuff? They're adding Marathon long commercials in the movie breaks. It's ridiculous. I'm sure only a true Columbo fan would pick up on this but it is irritating to me. And it's not just done in one or two episodes, it's done in almost everyone that they put on their station
Ok, rant over.
Here in the UK, we're quite lucky at the moment. Every Sunday a cable channel called 5 USA which is part of the Channel 5 group shows 6 episodes of Columbo back to back. I frequently watch or record them and have never noticed any difference between these broadcast versions and those that I have in the Columbo DVD box set.
Totally understand, Fred. The ridiculous edits were the reason I bought the entire collection on DVD. The one which galls me the most is "Identity Crisis" where Nelson Bremmer is riding into work, listening to the 7:00AM news cast on the radio, when he hears mention of China boycotting the Olympics (a critical clue). How the hell can they leave this scene out? It would be like leaving out the scene in "Shawshank Redemption" where the warden tells Andy "salvation lies within". Gets me infuriated every time I'd see it on TV, so I simply stopped watching them on TV and bought the set.
I started with Columbo on my DVR from a cable network a long time ago. Then, 12-ish years ago I got the box set. So, for the most part I've been watching Columbo on DVD.
Then just because I'm lazy, I started DVR recording Columbo from one of the cable channels, MeTV or some such, so I could flip it on quick if I was eating or whatever.
They basically ruined everything with all the edits.
For starters, they did a half-letterbox conversion of the screen shape/size. So, instead of just LEAVING the frickin video as is, in 4:3, they blew-up the screen size 30%, and ALSO widened the video. So they effectively chopped off the upper and lower portions of the original 4:3 signal.
So, fat faces, blurry zoomed-in signal and chopped off content.
Then, to add insult to injury, as others have mentioned here, they got some two-bit hack in the edit room at Hallmark or MeTV who is barked orders to reduce play time (increase commercials). So the moron just starts deleting scenes without understanding which way is up.
Getting rid the initial scene in Identity Crisis (the Chinese/Olympics reference) is a perfect example of this.
And I could not agree more with Kelly about some Doof in the back room not knowing anything about Columbo being ordered to just chop minutes off of the episode, not knowing what the hell he was doing. That's about as absurd as it gets. Next thing you know they'll remove every smoking scene with his cigar