PRIMETIME PILOT PANIC: 'Rockford Files' Is Now Dead At NBC

UPDATE: For those Deadline readers who suggested in the comments that Rockford Files should be reworked and put on USA. USA actually was pitched the idea for an updated Rockford about a year ago. It passed.

PREVIOUS: It’s been a stunning downfall for NBC’s update of the classic PI series, which only a month ago appeared as one of the few sure things this pilot season with its strong brand name, House creator David Shore as writer and Steve Carell as producer. The first signs of trouble came in the casting stage when it took a long time to cast the lead famously played by James Garner on the original series as several offers to A-list actors didn’t pan out. But feedback from the audition of Dermot Mulroney, who has strong improv background, was great, and the pilot, which co-starred Alan Tudyk and Beau Bridges, went underway with Michael Watkins at the helm. However, NBC was underwhelmed by the completed pilot. It then underwent major recutting, which was reportedly done by the editor of one of NBC’s top drama pilots this year, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Chase. But, while an improvement vs. the original cut, the new version of the pilot still didn’t impress NBC brass enough to muster a series order. Still, a redevelopment of the concept is a possibility.

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