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NBC does something smart: They are passing on THE ROCKFORD FILES.

After news of a bad pilot, word comes that NBC is passing on the remake of THE ROCKFORD FILES.

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.

I have whined long and loud about this, and remakes in general, so obviously I am not shedding any tears.

NBC is in a wretched state, ratingswise, and really has nothing to lose. It is time for them to develop new shows and offer up something fresh. Fox has tossed all sorts of interesting (odd) things and some, like FRINGE, have connected with enough viewers to be viable. Now I will give them credit for sticking with CHUCK, but they need to work harder to create new shows and actually give them time to make a go of it.

For me, one needs to look no further than TNT, USA and FX for interesting programming. NBC is looking to their past (and that of others in the case of PRIME SUSPECT) in hopes of finding something that will connect with viewers today. At the same time, those cablers are coming up with interesting new shows with solid casts and are winning more and more awards.

C’mon guys, how about picking up some of those scripts you having lying around. Listen to a pitch from left field. What do you have to lose?

Leave this failed experiment behind and move on. Please, no redevelopment.