This is a newspaper review from the time that the show was airing and is an interesting view of the series.
PLOTS AGAINST WIFE KEEP MICMILLAN BUSY BY MARVIN KITMAN
Thus, the major function of the police commissioner of San Francisco appears to be saving his wife’s life. Commissioner McMillan does not spend very much time in the office. Indeed, it is hard to recollect his even having a desk at police headquarters.
Of course, the police commissioner of San Francisco may not have that much work to do in the first place. Chief Ironside (Raymond Burr) is in charge of cleaning up crime in San Francisco as the chief of police in Ironside on NBC. And whoever he doesn’t catch from his wheelchair, there’s always Karl Malden and Mike Douglas out there patrolling The Streets of San Francisco on ABC.
How come some TV viewer might rightfully as, San Francisco and Los Angeles have so many cops on the TV beat? Cities like Philadephia and Detroit are defenseless on TV. No wonder there’s so much crime on their streets.
But what worries me today is the crime wave against Mrs. McMillan. 14 attempts on her life in 14 shows is what I call a crime wave. Is it a coincidence or is some person or person trying to get her—and for what?
Sally McMillan lives in a beautiful home with Stewart McMillan, the commissioner, and Nancy Walker. In a previous episode of the show, some cop referred to Nancy Walker as a “maid.” “Housekeeper,” Nancy quickly corrected him. “Friend,” Sally McMillan said.
Why does the commissioner’s wife need a maid or a housekeeper? She is a strong young woman who doesn’t have a job. She doesn’t do any volunteer work with any consistency.
If Mrs. McMillan stayed at home and dusted more often, perhaps the incidence of crime against her would drop significantly. Why doesn’t she play golf in tournaments? Or go out and visit Mrs. Columbo?
Now Mrs. Columbo is the ideal TV cop’s wife. She has never been shot at once; she has never even been kidnapped or even held hostage. Mrs. Columbo is absolutely no trouble at all to her husband. She’s talked about and never seen. Mrs. McMillan should be like Mrs. Columbo and allow her husband to do his work, whatever it may be.
Okay. Who’s the mastermind behind the plot to get the commissioner’s wife? A snitch (informant) says it’s Mrs. Columbo.
Okay some of his criticism is valid, Sally does seem to blunder into trouble but I got the impression she grew up with servants and that Mildred had worked for the family for years. She also has been shown to be involved with several charities over the episodes, she came from money and has probably never had to have a job.
However I had forgotten that there were 3 cop shows set in San Francisco at the same time, that is actually pretty odd.