Welcome to the Kate Loves a Mystery guide at tv.com.
The TV series 'Columbo', starring Peter Falk, ran from 1968 to 1978 and was one of the most popular TV shows in the 1970s. Columbo's wife had often been referred to in the series but was never actually shown. However, after 'Columbo' was cancelled in 1978, NBC decided to create a spin-off series featuring Mrs. Columbo and so 'Kate Loves a Mystery' was born.
'Kate Loves a Mystery' premiered in February 1979 under the title 'Mrs. Columbo' and starred Kate Mulgrew as Kate Columbo, wife of the famous detective. Kate is a housewife who raises the couple's daughter Jenny (played by Lili Haydn) but also works as a reporter for a newspaper called The Valley Advocate edited by Josh Alden (played by Henry Jones). Working for the paper gets Kate involved in all sorts of mysteries which she has to solve. Unfortunately, audiences did not warm up to the series and 'Mrs. Columbo' was taken off the air after five episodes.
However, NBC had not yet given up on the show, which they re-vamped and brought back in October 1979. The makers felt that linking Kate to Columbo had been a mistake and so Kate is now divorced and has taken back her maiden name of Callahan. All refernces to her famous husband were dropped. In this new season, Kate was still working as a journalist at The Valley Advocate and Don Stroud was added to the cast as the cop Sgt. Mike Varrick. The title of the show had also changed. 'Mrs. Columbo' became 'Kate the Detective' and then finally 'Kate Loves a Mystery'.moreless