'Rockford Files': Tom Selleck says Dermot Mulroney 'has an uphill battle'

tom-selleck-walk-for-women-2008-320.jpgTom Selleck thinks an update of "The Rockford Files" without James Garner may as well be called "The Henderson Files."

Before he became a television icon in his own right on "Magnum, P.I.," Emmy winner Selleck played too-slick rival Lance White to Garner's Rockford in two episodes of the classic 1970s private-eye series. NBC is remaking "Rockford" with Dermot Mulroney in the title role, and while Selleck wishes him well, he feels a Garner-less "Rockford" just might not be "Rockford."

"They ought to cast Jim Garner," Selleck tells Zap2it. "I'm a little prejudiced because he was really a formative influence on me, even a mentor in so many ways, even though he probably wouldn't admit to it if he was aware of it.

"Dermot Mulroney seems like a fine actor in the work I've seen him do, and this has nothing to do with him -- but when you think of 'Rockford,' you don't remember 'that episode about the bank robbery,' you remember [Garner] making you laugh."

Set to play the late novelist Robert B. Parker's small-town lawman again in the new CBS movie "Jesse Stone: No Remorse" Sunday, May 9, Selleck adds that he knows plans are afoot for a "Magnum" update.

"I know they say, 'Well, there's a whole new audience,' and that's true. There are a bunch of people, I guess, who don't know who I am and don't know who Jim Garner is ... but ['Rockford Files'] was Garner. For those who remember it, [Mulroney] has an uphill battle, and I wish him well."

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