The Rockford Files: Is the TV Show Remake Doomed Already?

Rockford FilesOne of the most anticipated projects has been a proposed remake of the classic NBC TV show, The Rockford Files. The network hasn’t had success with two previous TV show remakes. The Bionic Woman and Knight Rider series were high-profile failures.

There seemed a chance that this might be different. After all, the new Rockford Files pilot boasts recognizable talent like Dermot Mulroney, Alan Tudyk, Beau Bridges, Alex Fernandez, and Melissa Sagemiller. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like things are going well, according to New Yorker.

According to their sources, the pilot is in bad shape and looks more like a rehash than a reinvention. Though the script was strong, the footage supposedly looks dull and very dated, and not in an interesting retro way.

While much of the blame is being heaped onto the pilot’s director, there’s not a lot of praise for Mulroney’s performance either. While some people have praised his work as Jim Rockford, others suggest that recast is in order. One person half-jokingly suggested Lost star Josh Holloway be hired.

Should NBC keep trying to get the new Rockford Files right?

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The article explains that Prison Break vet Dawn Parouse was brought in days before filming began and did what she could to recut the pilot. While it’s supposedly better than the first draft, it’s still not making NBC execs happy.

What seemed like a shoe-in for NBC’s 2010-11 schedule, has now left the network with a problem. The peacock network’s ratings have been hurting for awhile and they desperately need their new shows to hit the ground running.

If the Rockford remake can be salvaged it sounds like it will mostly be because NBC’s entertainment president, Angela Bromstad, has made this project a priority for some time. It also doesn’t hurt that Steve Carell (star of The Office) and David Shore (House executive producer) are behind the project. Carell has been talking about leaving The Office when his contract expires and NBC has a vested interest in keeping him happy and on the show.

What do you think? Does it sound like they should go back to the drawing board or should the new Rockford Files be scrapped altogether? If you were to replace Mulroney, who would be your new Jim Rockford?

Canceled and renewed TV show

24 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Melanie says

    I think they should try again with a different plot…Have James Garner be the dad and the ‘new’ rockford be his son…Joe Flanigan’s name was mentioned previously and I think he would be great!! CBS got the Hawaii 5-o right…try, try again!!

  2. says

    Mulroney is fine for the role, but the show needs to be rooted in the same fashion as the original to keep it legitimate. James garner made the show, so cast him as the father figure guiding his son through adventures. Also make it a point to cast characters recognized and loved by viewers. You need a great Angel, not just a good one, and you need to create a similar environment not to duplicate but to hint to viewers that this series is a connected follow-up to what they remember and love. It seems that NBC has good intentions so let’s give them a chance to surprise us. Once they become adventurous with the writing Rockford will be a hit. Stick to your roots NBC.

  3. jimbo n says

    Though a little old for the part. When they recast the rockfish role the perfect person is Burn notice star Bruce Cambell. looks, wit, style, swagger and the right personality.

  4. says

    I have mixed feeling about the remakes.. While it would be nice to have the series back again. I doubt that they will last more then a few shows before it dies.
    You can’t just drop new actors into the roles and take up like nothing ever happened, and its still `1980. That won’t work.
    They need to bring the series along with new characters, taking up future of the roles.
    For example have Garners playing himself turning the business over to his grandson, with the same name, and and have them work together on the first couple of cases, the young Rockford showing him how t do things with todays tech,, and have Dennis Becker’s son or nephew work with the Rockford’s in the same way Dennis did.
    This way you bring the story along, and keep the same feel as the original,, Also having them go back to some places as they did in original
    Thats the short version of the way I’d revive the series.

    Ken Lawson

  5. steve clarke says

    the reason the new rockford files wasnt a success was because of bad casting dermot mulroney just wasnt right for the part the original relied on james garners easy going style of humour and that was very succesful and to be succesful again you need to create that easy going style and i believe that joe flanigan has that easy going style and could carry the action scenes i think nbc should take a good look at mr flanigan because if they didnt screentest him for the part they short changed themselves and us viewers the rockford files in 2010 could be a success but only with the right cast

  6. moe green says

    who restored the 1974 pontiac firebirds for the new series. can we see pictures of the firebirds now used in the series

  7. tb says

    David Boreanaz is like Garner’s illegitimate son, but since he’s already involved in a successful series, I would go along with Flanigan or Holloway. But NBC, et al, is missing the point. Don’t try to remake a wildly popular TV series, remake one that had great potential but got canceled for one reason or another.

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