RARA-AVIS: Re: Rockford Redux?

From: writerrickhelms@aol.com
Date: 31 Jul 2009

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    Frederick Zackel passed along this notice:

    "NBC, Universal Media Studios and Steve Carell's Carousel Television have tapped "House" creator-exec producer David Shore to shepherd a redo of the classic 1974-80 gumshoe drama that starred James Garner and put Stephen J. Cannell on the map as a writer-producer. "

    I just read the notice in Variety about this project. It's kind of difficult for me to imagine anyone except James Garner as Rockford, and I've been trying to figure out which actor would be best cast in the revamp. One of the nice things about Rockford was that they took a seasoned, movie-tested actor (and one of the classiest guys in Hollywood) in Garner to play the role. Seems to me that this means just about anyone is possible--not just some new pretty face or television darling.

    So, if we throw the field wide open, and any actor anywhere can place Jim Rockford, who do you see inheriting the role?

    And the second question: without Cannell and Garner, is there really a point in reviving the series? Other than, of course, short term ratings? Is 21st century television capable of capturing the 1970s 'feel' of the Rockford PI cycle (which, let's face it, tended to sanitize criminal behavior rather frequently), or is it more likely to go more gritty and realistic?

    Should be interesting, even if it only lasts half a season... R

    Richard Helms SIX MILE CREEK, March 2010, Five Star Mysteries www.richardhelms.net

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