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Thirty Years of The Rockford Files: An Inside Look at America's Greatest Detective Series Paperback – February 28, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"Covers every aspect of the classic series ... Like improved software, it's well-worth 'upgrading' to this new edition." -- Lee Goldberg, Edgar Award-nominated Television Writer/Producer and Bestselling Mystery Novelist

"This book not only gives a detailed account of 'Rockford,' but a good look at the television business in general." -- Jim McAllister, The Independent

A new edition of Robertson's already-definitive Rockford book ... with more than twice as [much information] as the previous edition. -- The Thrilling Detective

About the Author

Ed Robertson has written extensively about popular culture since 1990. He has had five books published, including two on the career of James Garner: Maverick: Legend of the West, a history of Garner?s classic Western from the 1950s, and This is Jim Rockford: The Rockford Files, which was originally published in 1995. Ed was also a consultant and onscreen commentator on two documentaries on Garner?s life and career: ?James Garner,? an hour-long film produced by NBC, and ?Hollywood Maverick,? a segment produced for A&E?s Biography that continues to air regularly on the Biography Channel. He also writes for Media Life Magazine, and has contributed to a variety of publications and media venues, including the liner notes for many titles currently available through Columbia House Video Library.A recognized expert in pop culture, Ed Robertson is frequently contacted by journalists across the country for comments on topics related to film, music and television. He has been quoted in such newspapers and media outlets as TV Guide,,, USA Today, The London Observer, The Toronto Star, The Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas Morning News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Los Angeles Times. He has also appeared on over 150 radio and TV programs, including Showbiz Today, CNN Headline News, First Light (Westwood One Radio Network), Up All Night (BBC Radio), Talk to America (Voice of America Radio Network), The Todd Mundt Show (National Public Radio), The Mancow Muller Show, E! News Today, The High Price of Fame and Entertainment Tonight, and is a regular guest on The Ronn Owens Program (KGO-AM, San Francisco), Hot Talk with Tony Gill (WAIC-FM, Springfield) and The Tony Trupiano Show (Michigan Talk Radio Network)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 497 pages
  • Publisher: ASJA Press (February 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595342442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595342440
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ed Robertson is an award-winning author and journalist who divides his time between collaborative writing and editing, and hosting and producing his radio show, TV CONFIDENTIAL. His published works cover such genres as biography, media and entertainment, including MAVERICK: LEGEND OF THE WEST ("a notable work of television journalism," according to the Nassau Herald) and THIRTY YEARS OF THE ROCKFORD FILES, a behind-the-scenes history of James Garner's groundbreaking, award-winning TV series. Ed has also written for The New York Times, Media Life Magazine, Columbia House Video Library and other media venues. In addition, he is a successful ghostwriter and editor whose collaborations include THE ETHICS OF STAR TREK, which he co-authored with Indiana State University professor Judith Barad; VOICE OF REASON, a best-selling book of political commentary by National Radio Hall of Fame nominee Ronn Owens; the memoirs KEEP ON KEEPING ON and UNFULFILLED DREAMS; and ONCE UPON A TIME: ELVIS AND ANITA, which he edited on behalf of the book's author, Jonnita Brewer Barrett.

Since 2008, Ed has produced and hosted TV CONFIDENTIAL, a radio talk show about all aspects of television, featuring lively conversation about network, cable and SOD programming, plus interviews with special guests. The show is broadcast every week on both terrestrial stations and Internet radio, with archives available for listening on demand at

Ed Robertson is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of Ghostwriters, Gotham Ghostwriters and other professional organizations. For more information, visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Flynn M. on May 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've been a "Rockford Files" junkie almost as long as the series began its original network run in 1974 and it's still my favorite show of all time. When the first edition of this book "This is Jim Rockford" was released ten years ago I was amazed at the amount of research that went into making it one of the best books on the history on any television show I'd ever read. It was so chock full of detail, from the draft notes of series creator Roy Huggins' original concept from 1972 to the return of "Rockford" to network television in 1994, that I was sure there was nothing more that could be said on the subject of "Rockford."

Well, I was wrong! With this updated version Robertson has dug even deeper, providing the reader with over 200 pages of new facts and information on the original NBC series (much of which wasn't available ten years ago), plus detailed analysis of the eight "Rockford" reunion movies that aired on CBS in the late 1990s. The new edition also includes an honest and critical perspective on the career of James Garner: why he excelled as Jim Rockford, and why he remains one of America's most cherished film and television actors. There's also invaluable insight from "Rockford" insider Rob Howe, behind-the-scenes photos of Garner on the set you don't normally see, and a further look at the various internal conflicts with the studio which were very telling and rather surprising in light of the show's continued success.

THIRTY YEARS OF THE ROCKFORD FILES is not only a complete history of "Rockford" on television, but an important chapter in the history of television. With the first season of "Rockford" due out on DVD later this year (finally!), this book is the perfect companion guide. I highly recommend it.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By H. Argun on December 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thirty Years of the Rockford Files has everything that you would ever want to know about (in my opinion) the greatest television series ever. The book is an updated version of Robertson's original book "This is Jim Rockford..." which was written over 10 years ago. Thirty years has much of the same info. as the original book with plenty of interviews of cast and crew members as well new photographs. There is an episode guide which is as comprehensive as they come and there is also an expanded summary of information regarding the 8 CBS Rockford File movies. All in all, this book is a must for all Rockford Files fans, along with the season 1 DVD set which has just come out.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Terry Sunday TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the classic 1974-1980 NBC detective show "The Rockford Files" finally coming out on DVD, the time is right for a comprehensive series guide book such as Ed Robertson's "Thirty Years of The Rockford Files." As portrayed by veteran actor James Garner, hard-bitten (and hard-luck) private detective Jim Rockford virtually defined the genre for many years. The show was incredibly popular at the time, and has played continuously in reruns ever since--hence the "Thirty Years" in the title. Garnering five Emmy Awards, including a Best Actor for Garner and a Best Dramatic Series, "The Rockford Files" was one of the most successful and unforgettable television series ever made.

"Thirty Years of The Rockford Files" is packed with "insider" information about the show. It includes rare behind-the-scenes photographs, interviews with writers, producers, directors and actors, fascinating trivia, the story of "the world's most famous Firebird" and complete episode guides for all six seasons. The description of each episode typically spans a few pages, and includes a cast list, a transcript of the humorous telephone answering machine message that opens each show, a plot summary and a discussion of interesting features of the episode. The plot summaries are very brief, usually just a short paragraph. At first I thought they were too short, but after watching a few episodes and then reading the related summaries, I concluded that they are "just right." Interestingly, most of them don't reveal the resolution of the mystery--you'll have to watch the episode to find out how it ends. Mr.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lee Goldberg VINE VOICE on August 7, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're as into TV... and TV Private Eyes... as I am, you've got to buy yourself Ed Robertson's "Thirty Years of THE ROCKFORD FILES." The book covers every aspect of the classic series, from the making of the pilot through the production of the eight reunion movies (as well as unproduced scripts and the tie-in books by Stuart Kaminsky among other things). Robertson interviews all the key players in front of, and behind, the camera, including James Garner, Steve Cannell, Roy Huggins, and Charles Floyd Johnson, and provides detailed episode synopses.

Technically, this isn't a new book. It's an update and revision of two earlier books Robertson wrote about THE ROCKFORD FILES ... "This is Jim Rockford" and "The Rockford Files: A 20th Anniversary Tribute." I have both of those books, too (told you I was a geek) and, like improved software, it's well-worth "upgrading" to this new edition.
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