Monday, August 30, 2010

Five Easy Picks

• Congratulations to Irish author and Rap Sheet contributor Declan Burke, who’s putting together a book-length “collection of essays, interviews, and short fictions written by Irish crime writers about the sudden explosion in Irish crime writing ...” He reports further that “this project has been simmering for some time now, but I had a meeting with an Irish publisher last Friday morning and it was finally given the green light. Contracts are in the process of being issued, so it’s probably polite not to name names until all is signed and sealed, but the wheels are in motion ...” If everything goes according to plan, the completed work, Down These Green Streets: Irish Crime Writing in the 21st Century, should be out by the spring of 2011.

• 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.

“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.”
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.

• 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.


Naomi Johnson said...

Doesn't matter who they pick, that guy doesn't stand a chance against the memory of Garner's portrait of Rockford. Plus, who the hell wants to see Rockford with a friggin' cell phone and computer?

Linda L. Richards said...

Forgive me: I can't seem to help myself. But if Rockford *is* going to be remade, I think Holloway would be a terrific choice. Josh Holloway *owns* that detached trailer park slouch that only Garner could pull off with such panache. Until now. C'mon: don't you think it would be amusing to see a new century spin on this enduring old favorite?

Winifred said...

James Garner is Rockford just as David Janssen is Harry O. Those actors developed the characters so well.

Perhaps a new audience will take to a new actor in the role more easily than those of us who knew and loved those series and characters so much. Let's hope they never try to remake Harry O!

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I see no reason why NBC couldn't simply set Josh Holloway up in a new private-eye series. Why does the network have to try replacing James Garner in a role he created and with which he will forever be associated? If NBC's hope is to draw older viewers who liked the original Rockford Files, I suspect the endeavor will be a bomb. Better that it go for something new.