NBC Remake Will Reopen The Rockford Files

By Anna Hiatt

Jul 30, 2009

Ben Silverman has left NBC, but the network's desire to remake old shows is still going strong. NBC announced its decision to remake the 1970s gumshoe classic The Rockford Files, and they've lined up David Shore, creator of the medical drama House, to do the script. Jim Rockford (played by James Garner) was a well-developed, deeply-flawed ex-con who lived in a mobile home in Malibu. Lucky for viewers, Shore has some experience with character flaws.

In addition to House, Shore has worked on NBC's Law & Order. Both dramas excel at developing flawed characters -- like Dr. House and Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy -- which should give Rockford fans a boost of confidence. "What makes 'Rockford' timeless is that he's vulnerable, he's flawed. He's used to hustling and getting hustled," Shore told Variety. Shore attributes his desire to become a TV writer to Rockford's exceptional script. And better yet, Shore doesn't have his heart set on revisiting finished shows, which makes his passion for this project obvious. "I had no interest in adapting any old stuff, but this was the one exception," he said.

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  • kevanmoore9 Jul 27, 2013

    I have the guy in mind that IS Jim Rockford all over again AND has a bit of James Garner in him....Bruce Campbell. He could be the man. I could see him and hear him as the Rockford character.

  • HeatherArtuni Apr 19, 2012

    Vince Vaughn as Jim Rockford?? I don't see it, MAYBE Josh Brolin....but NOBODY, I mean NOBODY will ever be as good as James Garner!

  • skycop51 Apr 27, 2010

    Never be another Jim Rockford again. I loved that show, had most of it from Netflix. But now its with my ex and will have to buy em again. But I must have these.

  • samsmutt Mar 30, 2010

    The problem with remakes is that it\\\'s not clear why it should be remade or what direction the remake should take. If it resembles too much the original series, then why remake it? If it differs too much, then you might as well call it something else. Regarding the latter statement, I feel that is what went wrong with the Battlestar Galactica remake. It was changed so much that it was like a totally different show. It should have been called something else, but the creators of the new show knew there would be vast amounts of fan-recognition with the old name. In a more contemporary vernacular, they pimped the name Battlestar Galactica to sell the remade show. This is exactly what should not happen again. If they change this new Rockford Files show too much, then have the decency to give it a new name. They shouldn\\\'t give Jim brothers or sisters or ex-wives or anything he didn\\\'t have before; they shouldn\\\'t change his character or life to make him more contemporary. Remember, the show was still going strong when it was cancelled. It was only discontinued because the stuntwork that James Garner performed himself for the show was taking its toll on his body. I\\\'m willing to give the new show a chance, but I\\\'m an unforgiving audience. Ruin what was or what could be, and I\\\'ll quickly depart.

  • wknick2532 Jan 08, 2010

    Rockford fans should hope that NBC treads more carefully on their show than they did on other remakes, which were butchered. Suggested cast members:

    Rockford- how about Bruce Campbell? He's the right age, has the look, and the smartass attitude to pull it off.

    Rocky- G.W. Bailey could work as Rockford's dad.

    Becker- David Zayas

    My wife's still casting the rest of the roles.

  • kevanmoore9 Jul 27, 2013

    I just said same thing about Bruce Campbell! Every time I see him on burn notice I think...they should do a remake of The Rockford files with Campbell as Jim Rockford. He's perfect in every way!

  • HeatherArtuni Apr 19, 2012

    I'm thinking maybe Josh Brolin? As far as attitude, it's acting. But nobody can ever replace James Garner.

  • sorrytuist Dec 30, 2009

    The Jim Rockford character quite suited James Garner who tended to play the "put upon" hero not stupidly brave or trusting in a fight. Nathan Fillion (Castle, Serenity) may be right for the role, in perhaps a few TV-movie pilots to test-the-water -and Nathan's about the right age or will be after Castle wraps up.

    Doing some Rockford TV-movies would probably stop "over exposure" if Castle runs for 3+ seasons. I'm a bit jaded with the Bones/Moonlighting Man & Woman detectives simmering relationship thing. It would be nice and retro to have female & male guest star clients. Give Jim a Gulf War background, an ex-wife, a couple of group up kids or younger brother/sister the current military.

    Enough with the "reboot" ideas, the ex-con, conman detective living with Dad nearby is okay with me!

  • frogman317 Dec 28, 2009

    Hey, invisbleninja turtles, or whatever your screen name is, are you serious? Burn Notice is a decent show, but it couldn't hold a candle to Rockford. What are you smoking?

  • leakysub Dec 05, 2009

    The 1990's remake of Colombo worked. So can the Rockford Files, but it will be up to Shore. The made for TV Rockford Files movies in the 90's were just terrible, mainly to do with poor scripts. There is a big danger that Shore may not be able to pull this off and damage the Rockford brand more so than the TV movies did. The show capsulated a time and a place, LA in the mid 1970's. This is where I would like to see the series stay. A retro remake, keep it in the 70's, strong characters, solid writing and a quirky Jimbo, reluctant hero. The retro approach opens the door for tongue in cheek giggles. Who here would love to see Jimbo duke it out with a bad guy on a disco floor or roller skating ring? A few cameo appearances from original cast members, dig up Mike Post to make a few small changes in the opening music and in my opinion it will work. Shore must approach this task with a play from the left field if he is going to pull this off.

  • kato1964 Nov 09, 2009

    The worst idea I've ever heard!!!! The Rockford Files was a success due to the charisma of James Garner and the other actors who played the various supporting characters, and the amazing writing staff. Even the Rockford Files tv movies weren't that great, and I'm a huge fan of the show. It is like when a band breaks up, and then gets together again. usually some of the original magic is gone. Instead of doing lame retreads of classic television shows, how about doing something NBC used to do in the old days? Give shows a chance to build an audience. Prime example is Cheers. The lowest rated show of all the shows on TV when it premiered in '82. However they gave it a chance, it went on to be a huge success, and ran for 11 seasons. (and would have gone more had they been able to convince Ted Danson to keep going) They now cancel awesome shows like "Life" and "Southland", and talk about producing retreads. James Garner himself failed at his attempt to resurrect 'Maverick', in the 80s. You can't capture lightning in a bottle, and release it at will. If you want Rockford, buy the DVDs.

  • sc813 Sep 24, 2009

    I think to make this work, the net has to land a casting coup. Biggest mountain to climb will be finding the right actor to fill Jim Rockford's loafers. Think big, NBC. My thought? Mel Gibson. Millions of eyeballs would watch him do episodic TV. Heck, he even stepped into a James Garner role already with "Maverick" (nailed it, too!). Further, Lethal Weapon's Martin Riggs even lived on the beach in a mobile home. Too many coincidences. Cast MG as Rockford and I'm watching.

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