Thursday, 30 July 2009


Spotted on the excellent blog of author, screenwriter, producer, and TV historian Lee Goldberg, who found this news on Variety: House creator and showrunner David Shore has been tapped by NBC Universal and Steve Carell's production company to revive The Rockford Files.

In the original Rockford Files (1974-1980), aired on NBC, Hollywood film and television legend James Garner starred as private investigator Jim Rockford. Wrongfully jailed in the 1960s and pardonned, he lived in a mobile home (which doubled as his office) on a Malibu beach. Rockford, the ultimate anti-hero, was a creation of Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell and the memorable theme of the show was composed by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. James Garner came back as the character in the nineties for some TV-movies.

Well, we're beyond Saint Bernie (Lomax) on this one. I guess Hollywoodland will never cope with the idea that there's some material you definitely can't remake or "reinvent". James Garner IS Jim Rockford, period. Garner not only shared the "Jim" with Rockford, he was the show (and even co-produced it through Cherokee, his production company). It's like doing Hawaii Five-O without Jack Lord. You simply can't.

You can do a P.I. show about a lovable loser maverick (pun intended) private eye who lives in a mobile home and drives an old Firebird, gracefully thank a Rockford Files influence, put a former movie A-lister as the lead or a Brit actor able to deliver dry jokes with a perfect American accent... but you can't revive The Rockford Files.

And for original creations you can ask Lee. I'm sure he'd be happy to oblige.

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