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This chapter is the first major study of the collaborative writing team Richard Levinson and William Link, who created Columbo. Having worked together since the age of fourteen, the two men specialized in mystery stories. They contributed to a range of mystery series, and they created several of their own, including Mannix, Tenafly, a reboot of Ellery Queen, and (with Peter S. Fischer) Murder, She Wrote. They also wrote a series of made-for-television movies, each of which was characterized by progressive politics. Their screenplay for That Certain Summer was the first positive portrayal of a gay male couple on television, and The Gun offered an investigation of the social and economic mechanics, as well as the violence, of gun culture. Finally, in the mid-1970s they developed Tenafly, the first prime-time drama to feature a Black male lead.

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