Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Everything
you're looking
for is right here:


Save money!
Spirit of Christmas on DVD Ripcord on DVD Route 66 season 1 on DVD Carol Burnett special DVD Tennesee Tuxedo on DVD Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD

 

The Rockford Files
Closing Out The Rockford Files:
A Look Back at The Original Must See TV

by Ed Robertson

PART TWO

You actually could break down "Rockford" into three different series: the episodes from the first year, when it was a Top Ten hit; the shows from the second year, when it lost a huge chunk of audience that it would never recover; and the episodes from the last three years, when it started winning all those Emmy Awards.

"Rockford" in the first season (1974-75) was to private-eye shows what "Maverick" was to Westerns in the 1950s: fresh, irreverent, and clever. At a time when network TV was saturated with flatfoots and gumshoes, "Rockford" took all the cliches and turned them inside out. NBC programming executives may not have understood the show's sophisticated sense of humor, but the viewers certainly did, taking to Garner like a long-lost friend. "Rockford" suddenly made it cool to stay home on Friday nights.

When the first season ended, exec producer Roy Huggins left "Rockford" in the hands of his protege Stephen J. Cannell (now the author of such best-sellers as "King Con, "Final Victim" and "The Plan"). Though Cannell understood Maverick/Rockford almost as well as his mentor, and had himself created two of the show's greatest characters (Rocky, our hero's salt-of-the-earth dad, and Angel Martin, Jimbo's former stir mate), he initially lost sight of what made the "Files" work - and the show suffered as a result. The key to Rockford was that, no matter what, he was smarter than anyone else (especially, the bad guys). But that wasn't the case in the early going of the second season (1975-76) when, week after week, Jimbo found himself taken advantage of, particularly by his own friends.

Both "Maverick" (and "Rockford," under Huggins) dared to invert that most sacred of TV rules: the hero always comes out on top in the end. Maverick/Rockford was occasionally done in by his own mercenary tendencies, often to hilarious effect. But Huggins also knew that the key to breaking the rules was doing so with restraint. The audience was bound to grow tired of watching if Rockford ended up looking stupid every week.

That's exactly what happened in the second season. By Halloween, "Rockford" had lost nearly 20% of its total audience, and was finishing third in a time slot it once owned. Though Cannell recognized the problem with the stories, and was able to steer the series back on track, "Rockford" would never see the Top Ten (or even the Top 20) again.

NEXT: The Soprano's producer
gets on board to save The Rockford Files

  PART: 1 / 2 / 3

1970s TV Shows


1970s TV Shows

 


Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!

 

 

 

Rockford Files photo Noah Beery as Jimbo's lovable dad Rocky, a character co-creator Steve Cannell based on his own father.

Rockford files
Gretchen Corbett as Jim's lawyer Beth Davenport, who "collected lost causes like they were rare coins."

Rockford Files TV show
Tightly-wound Lieutenant Chapman (James Luisi) was no match for Jimbo's quick wit. Rockford once likened him to "a giant bag of gas in a three-piece suit."
Rockford
Stuart Margolin won two Emmys as the exasperating Angel Martin, Rockford's permanent cross to bear.
 

Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments
Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / Dawn Wells / Gavin McLeod / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Red Skelton / George Lindsay / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Shirley Jones Interview /Shirley Jones Interview / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Love, Loss & What I Watched
Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Southern Actors Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 
Everything
you're looking
for is right here:


Save money!
Carol Burnett Show on DVD Route 66 season 1 on DVD Twilight Zone on DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Good Times Season 5 on DVD Soupy Sales DVD