• I’m left cold by talk about casting ex-Lost star Josh Holloway taking the lead in NBC-TV’s prospective rebooting of its classic 1974-1980 private-eye series, The Rockford Files. We already ducked a bullet this last spring when a new Rockford pilot, starring Dermot Mulroney, was soundly rejected by the network. But now Entertainment Weekly columnist Michael Ausiello writes:
A Peacock source tells me that the former Lostie’s name has been mentioned in connection to the project, but the insider stresses that there are no serious talks going on at this time. Meanwhile, House exec producer David Shore--who is shepherding the reboot along with Steve Carell’s Carousel Prods and Peter Berg’s Film 44--concedes that Holloway is a “viable choice,” but adds that “it’s too premature” to start naming names. A rep for the actor declined to comment for this story.Give it up, guys. Rockford was one of the finest private-eye series ever to grace American television. But it just wouldn’t have been the same without James Garner as the clever but perpetually down-on-his-luck Los Angeles gumshoe, and it just wouldn’t the same now without him. If Shore wants to make a private-eye series with Holloway, let him produce it; television could sure use a good example of the breed right now. For heavens sake, though, don’t try to resurrect the Rockford brand. Give Holloway’s protagonist a different name and background. He doesn’t have to prove the old saying about there being no new ideas in Hollywood.
“NBC is still high on the project,” adds Shore. “They would like it to happen. Peter Berg’s involved producing and possibly directing and we will be looking for a new lead.”
• Craig Sisterson has a fine piece in New Zealand’s Weekend Herald about authors Peter Robinson and Peter James, who are visiting his country this week. You can read the whole piece here.
• Steve Scott recalls the contributions of author John D. MacDonald to the Shadow-inspired pulp magazines. Meanwhile, Pornokitsch’s Jared Shurin writes about The Deep Blue Good-by--MacDonald’s first Travis McGee novel--as the pattern-setter for the rest of that well-read series. Not bad for a guy who admits of McGee, “I kind of hate him.”
• And British TV broadcaster ITV has commissioned three new crime dramas for 2011, one of which will come from Anthony Horowitz, creator of the exceptional World War II-era mystery series, Foyle’s War.