• This show destroyed the Private Detective show formula.

    At the time, most TV PI's had cutie pie secretaries (Mannix' secretary Gail and Barnaby Jones' ex Miss America Lee Meriweather in particular), Jim Rockford had an answering machine...

    All TV PI's had nice offices with dark wood paneling, Rockford's office was the living room of his decaying mobile home parked in the lot outside a diner...

    It took at least 3 guys fighting dirty to subdue the average TV PI, even short, fat, aging Cannon. Jimmy was always the one getting his head handed to him unless he figured a way to sucker punch his opponent...

    At the climax, other TV PI's would pull their guns, shoot it out with the baddies and save the day. Rockford's gun, often as not was still at home in his cookie jar...

    TV PI's always had a friend on the police force who would gladly do favors, looking up DMV records, etc. Rockford's friend on the force was always getting in trouble for even knowing Rockford. The Captains & Lieutenants on the force universally viewed Jim as low life scum & not worth the time of day...

    The average detective would go about his business, assembling clues to solve this weeks mystery. That is the way it was with Rockford except that he was always dealing with hustlers, con men, ex-convicts and the occasional ex-girlfriends, every one of whose purpose in life seemed to be the bedevilment and aggravation of Jim Rockford. Not to mention the recurring role of Jim's dad Rocky (deftly played by that Trojan actor, Noah Beery) who was always after Jim to give up PIing and do something "respectable" like truck driving.

    When this show appeared on TV, every other PI looked dull and one by one they disappeared as they lost ground in the ratings.

    This is also the show that put Steven J Cannell on the map. Nothing that he ever did subsequently equaled this. In fact most of it was crappy formula detective shows.

    The Rockford Files is the REAL DEAL!

    Simon Sez, CHECK IT OUT!