Dermot Mulroney Opens The Rockford Files

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 16th, 2013 at 12:19 am,

It would appear that NBC were very serious indeed when they mentioned that they were bringing 70’s detective Jim Rockford back to TV screens for a modern take on the weary detective.

Producers Steve Carell and David Shore now have a replacement for  original Rockford Files star James Garner in the form of Dermot Mulroney.

 

The Rockford Files was an Emmy Award winning detective series about a down on his luck Private detective with a copper Firebird (and an answering machine), who lived in a caravan on the Californian beach. His low level cases were often dangerous, and sometimes he would work the case without getting paid (despite his best efforts).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new Jim Rockford is described as “slightly crumpled, wry humored, cynical, world weary, compassionate when it’s called for and easily irritated by morons.”

The trade paper also states that his “troubled past includes doing some time as a convict and as a cop.”

I feel that’s where they’ve made their first mistake – if Rockford is a former cop it loses one of the main bits of character focus from the original series, in that the cops hated Rockford for being a Private Detective and a former criminal (albeit pardoned). Making him a former cop puts him on the inside track and makes him less of an outsider.

I’m also slightly worried that with Steve Carell onboard the show will be a bit too humorous and self-referential. The original Rockford wasn’t exactly gritty, but Garner had a laid back charm and easy delivery that made him likable. I just feel that this modern-update could be more like the Starsky and Hutch movie than a true update of the iconic detective drama.

As for Mulroney’s involvement – he’s an okay choice, and I can see that the producers are going for “laidback” but I don’t think that he’s got the presence or charisma to step into Garner’s shoes. The actor normally plays second fiddle in a lot of big films; he was the titular best friend in My Best Friend’s Wedding and recent years have seen him Zodiac, Burn After Reading and About Schmidt. Like many actors whose career failed to ignite on the big screen, it looks like he too is finding solace on television.

The Rockford Files was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins (who also created Garner’s Maverick), it ran for six seasons, and unlike most shows it wasn’t canceled due to poor ratings or contract disputes, but because the work schedule took it’s physical toll on Garner’s health.

James Garner as Jim Rockford Dermot Mulroney Opens The Rockford Files

In the mid-to-late-nineties Garner returned to the role of Rockford for a series of television movies, which while enjoyable didn’t match the charm of its original run, even though they brought back much of the original supporting cast.

No matter how good the 21st Century update of The Rockford Files is, I know that it will not be as good as the original – and I know that before a single frame has even been shot!

That’s my opinion, what do you guys think?

Source: THR

 

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  1. Too bad TPTB are in a rush to make this series. I would have liked David Boreanaz to have played Rockford once he finished his time on Bones.

  2. Yeah,just what we need,another cop/detective show!

    No wonder why NBC is in the toilet right now.

  3. The Rockford Files was one of THE COOLEST shows on tv , when I was a kid.
    I love that show ; Garner was AWESOME , as was his car. The always had a solid cast and usually great guest stars too.

    I think this new show will tank. I just don't see how they could possibly recapture that kind of magic or improve on the original.

    I'd also like to mention that CANADA just took the Gold medal for men 's hockey !!!!!!!!!!!!!!YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I don't like to think what they'll do with the original theme music as well…

  5. The Rockford Files was one of THE COOLEST shows on tv , when I was a kid.
    I love that show ; Garner was AWESOME , as was his car. The always had a solid cast and usually great guest stars too.

    I think this new show will tank. I just don't see how they could possibly recapture that kind of magic or improve on the original.

    I'd also like to mention that CANADA just took the Gold medal for men 's hockey !!!!!!!!!!!!!!YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I don't like to think what they'll do with the original theme music as well…

  7. Agree with you !
    Garner was Rockford …no point in this remake !
    Hope it turns out better then I think it will !

  8. Let's hope Mulroney learns from the example of Mr. Garner about contracted pay:

    In July 1983, Garner filed suit against Universal Studios for $16.5 million in connection with his on-going dispute from The Rockford Files. The suit charged Universal with “breach of contract; failure to deal in good faith and fairly; and fraud and deceit”. It was eventually settled out of court in 1989. As part of the agreement Garner could not disclose the amount of the settlement.

    Garner sued Universal again in 1998 for $2.2 million over syndication royalties. In this suit he charged the studio with “deceiving him and suppressing info about syndication”. He was supposed to receive $25,000 per episode that ran in syndication, but Universal charged him “distribution fees”. He also felt that the studio did not bid the show out to the highest bidder for the episode reruns.

  9. I wonder how the cost of living will have an effect on the $200 a week plus expenses…. :D

    • $200 A DAY, plus expenses. For the 70′s, even in LA, that was quite a bit.

      I think I was making $75 a week in the summer in high school.

  10. I like Dermot, but this is the wrong role for him. This is bad news. There really is no young actor with the savior faire and weary eyes to play Jim Rockford.

  11. I think the Boreanez as Rockford would be spot on. Actually, a show that has the tone of the Rockford files is The Mentalist, and that reminds me a bit of Maverick ,Garner's other iconic role. Mulroney as Rockford sounds kinda iffy but we'll see I guess.

  12. I think the Boreanez as Rockford would be spot on. Actually, a show that has the tone of the Rockford files is The Mentalist, and that reminds me a bit of Maverick ,Garner's other iconic role. Mulroney as Rockford sounds kinda iffy but we'll see I guess.

  13. I just don’t think it will have the impact that the original series did.
    James Garner was one of a kind.

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