After 1978's Deathtrap, Levin took a detour into pure comedy with his stage play Break A Leg, then back into pure thrillers, with Footsteps. Written in 1982, Levin revisited the play Levin over the ensuing years, before CBS ultimately adapted as a movie-of-the-week in 2003. Ken Raskoff of the network related to the LA Times they'd initially aimed to perform it live (an intriguing idea), but found it required too many close-ups to render that practicable at the time.
Levin commented in a 2003 letter that he found the television adaptation “highly unfaithful,” due in large measure to significant changes having been made to the character of its 30-something heroine, in order to accommodate its later-career star. He elaborated: “...significant relationships have been altered and there’s scarcely a line of my dialogue. The bones of the play are there though, and it’s fairly suspenseful.” (Levin noted elsewhere that his ideal 1982 casting of the play's youthful lead would have been either Patti LuPone or Swoosie Kurtz.)