Rockford Files TV Series

The Rockford Files TV Series
James Garner as Jim Rockford on The Rockford Files

Rockford Files TV Series Overview

The Rockford Files is a private investigator television drama series that first ran on the NBC television network from 1974 to 1980. The extremely popular show also returned in 1994 as a series of movies on the CBS network. The show continues to run in syndication. 

The series is known mainly for the charm and charisma of its main actor James Garner, who starred as Jim Rockford, who drove a classic golden Pontiac Firebird.

The show was one of the most popular and successful TV series ever made. It won five Emmys including Best Dramatic Series and Best Actor.

The show was created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell. The television show was credited as a Public Arts / Roy Huggins Production in association with Cherokee Productions and Universal Studios which later became NBC Universal.  Cherokee was the name of  James Garner’s production company.

Primary Cast Members

  • James Scott “Jim” Rockford (played by James Garner)
  • Joseph “Rocky” Rockford (played by Noah Beery, Jr.)
  • Detective Dennis Baker (played Joe Santos)

There is a long list of guest stars who joined the show.

Theme Song

This show’s memorable theme song was composed by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. The Rockford Files TV theme song stayed on the radio charts for 44 weeks and even went to number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The TV show’s song won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement.


The Rockford Files - The Complete Series

The Rockford Files TV series ran for six seasons with a total of 122 episodes. Each episode is approximately 60 minutes long. All of the episodes are available to watch online via Amazon Video or via DVD.

Following is a quick recap of the seasons available on DVD available through

  • Season One – The first season includes 23 episodes, including an interview with James Garner.
  • Season Two – The second season includes 22 episodes, the original series pilot, and more.
  • Season Three
  • Season Four – The fourth season set includes all 21 episodes and a bonus episode from the fifth season, which stars Tom Selleck in a role that became the foundation for the hit TV show Magnum P.I.
  • Season Five – Includes all episodes from the fifth season.
  • Season Six  – Includes all shows from the sixth season.
  • Thirty Years of The Rockford Files: An Inside Look at America’s Greatest Detective Series (Paperback) – This book provides the inside scoop on the TV series including interviews with actor James Garner, commentary from the show’s producers, writers, and actors, interesting factoids, behind the scenes photos, and more.

Production Company, Distributor and Executive Producers

The series is produced by Roy, Higgins Public Arts Productions, Cherokee Productions, and Universal Television. The Executive Producers are Stephen J. Cannell and Meta Rosenberg. The series was distributed by MCA TV from 1979 to 1981 and subsequently by NBC Universal Television Distribution.

Critical Response, Awards, and Ratings

The series received numerous nominations for Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Writer’s Guild, and more. The show won awards for five Primetime Emmy Awards and several others.

  • The series has a rating of 8.1 out of 10 stars on IMDB and 8.4 out of 10 on
  • 91% of Google Users indicate they like the show

The series ran for six seasons with a total of 122 episodes. Each episode is approximately 60 minutes longs.

Questions and Comments

What do you think about the Rockford Files? Is it your favorite private investigator TV series? If not, post a comment below and let us know what is. Also, check out Police TV Crime Dramas and detective series.

Related Information

Check out other Police Crime Dramas on DVD.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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