101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1974-1980

As smooth as Columbo was rumpled, private eye Jim Rockford, an ex-con, lived and worked out of a trailer at the beach in Santa Monica. To a certain extent the character was the creation, as Columbo was, of the personality of its star, James Garner. But on the page it came from Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell. Cannell, the prolific writer-producer, had worked for Huggins on the detective show Toma (which in its second season would become Baretta). Cannell, according to his obituary in The New York Times, came up with the Rockford character while writing a Toma script. In their work, Cannell and Huggins are credited with leavening the TV detective with irony and humor. As Cannell told the Times in 1999: "Culture changed, and as that happened, so did our need for a hero. That square-jawed good guy began to look like an idiot to us."

Credited Writers

Dorothy Bailey
Juanita L. Bartlett
Howard Berk
Lester William Berke
Richard Bluel
Rudolph E. Borchert
Leigh Brackett
Booker Bradshaw
Howard Browne
Stephen J. Cannell
David Chase
Gloryette Clark
James S. Crocker
Walter Dallenbach
Gordon Dawson
Don Carlos Dunaway
Pat Fielder
Donald L. Gold
Robert Hamner
Ted Harris
Roy Huggins
John Thomas James
Chas Floyd Johnson
Eric Kaldor
Calvin Kelly
Edward J. Lakso
Mitchell Lindemann
Zekial Marko
Burt Prelutsky
Mary Ann Rea
Leroy Robinson
Bernard Rollins
Mann Rubin
Charles Sailor
William R. Stratton
Jo Swerling, Jr.
David C. Taylor
Rogers Turrentine
Michael Wagner
Sheldon Willens