Columbo is fifty years old. A global smash in the 1970s, it is now a cult TV favourite. What is the reason for this enduring popularity? In this fascinating exploration of a television classic, David Martin-Jones argues that Columbo reveals how our current globalized world – of 24/7 capital, invasive surveillance and online labour – emerged in the late 20th century. Exploring everything from the influences on Falk’s iconic acting style to the show’s depiction of Los Angeles, Martin-Jones illuminates how our attention is channelled, via technologies like television and computers, to influence how we perform, learn, police and locate ourselves in today’s world. Columbo emerged alongside shows like Kojak and The Rockford Files, but re-viewing the series today reveals how contemporary television hits – from Elementary to The Purge – continue to shape how and why we pay attention 24/7.