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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?

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim L May 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm

If NBC is going to start from scratch, then make Josh Holloway play the character Jack Rockford, Jim Rockford’s prodigal son come home to LA after a long stint away. Then you can even bring back James Garner on occassion to take the type of role in this new show that Noah Beery played in the first – the father who is the sounding board. Nobody can replace James Garner as Jim Rockford, so do the next best thing – make this a spinoff. it can be pretty much the same show – but there’s no pressure to match the brilliance of the original. It’s still The Rockford Files, it’s still all about LA, and Josh Holloway would be perfect as this type of character.


Mike May 20, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Have Garner as Rocky


Lisa May 20, 2010 at 8:42 am

Nathan Fillion.


Karen May 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Joe Flanigan would have made a better Rockford, hands down.


aby May 14, 2010 at 11:54 am

It needs to be recast if they are going to save it. Josh Holloway would be a decent choice, but I still think Joe Flanigan is perfect for the role. I realize he isn’t a huge name, but I think finding the right actor is far more important than just getting a big name to fit poorly in the role.


pillarr1 May 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

Bruce Campbell would be good too.


Debi May 14, 2010 at 6:49 am

STARGATE ATLANTIS fans would have loved to have seen Joe Flanigan in the role. :)


Maria M. May 13, 2010 at 11:48 pm

I think Mr. Mulroney is perfect for the role. He has the dry wit and subtle facial expressions that the lead calls for. While I do enjoy watching Josh Holloway in “Lost”
( who doesn’t! ) , his sense of humor tends to be more sarcastic. And anyway, a blond , brooding Rockford is just plain WRONG. Mr. Mulroney, with his graying hair and that twinkle in his eyes, reminds me of the original Rockford. Without him, I won’t even bother to watch.


WJ May 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Bruce Campbell as Jim Rockford?


Bob May 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm

James Garner WAS The Rockford Files. Mulroney simply isn’t in Garner’s league.


Larry R May 13, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Not to take away from Mr. Mulroney, just not sure he can pull off the character of Jim Rockford anywhere near like James Garner. Personally, I think Vince Vaughn could do a very good job. He looks like a guy that can take care of himself but at the same time could pull off the “You act like you’re scared” “I am” routine. Let’s hope for the best.


pillarr1 May 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Jensen Ackles from Supernatural would be a good Rockford. BUT – I don’t think anyone can duplicate Jimmy!!!


Lance Thompson May 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Can’t replace the orginal. Steve Cannell isn’t involved. Skip it.


Mel May 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I think that Mulroney is a terrible choice! Holloway is perfect, I can’t think of a character more like Rockford than Holloway’s Sawyer. After the sideways Sawyer is a cop episode of Lost many were clamoring for a Sawyer as a cop spin off, since that won’t happen, I suggest that he get to be Rockford. I even started a fb group in support:


CT (from Nerd Lunch) May 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Josh Holloway should have been cast in the lead role in the first place.


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