Usually I think remaking a TV classic is a bad idea, but the news that House producer David Shore is thinking of doing a new version of the great James Garner series The Rockford Files fills me with hope, not cynicism.

Yes, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to match the wily charm that James Garner brought to this wonderful 1974-80 detective show about a stubbornly independent, low-income private eye. But House proves Shore knows how to showcase prickly heroes.

Co-created by Stephen J. Cannell and the great Roy Huggins, the original Rockford Files writing staff included Sopranos creator David Chase. The new Rockford is slated to air on NBC, which gives me some pause — this is the network, after all, that had no idea what a treasure it had in its recent Damian Lewis crime show Life. I’m thinking USA Network, where, y’know, characters are welcome, would be a better home for a fresh Rockford Files.

What do you think? Is remaking The Rockford Files a good idea? Bad? And who would you cast as rugged wise guy Jim Rockford? (My colleague Marc Bernardin just came up with a brilliant idea: ABC, if it cancels Castle, frees up Nathan Fillion to become a potentially-ideal Rockford. That get some casting ideas sparking?)

UPDATE: My colleague at Time Magazine, James Poniewozik, has a few typically astute things to say about a Rockford remake (also check out his exemplary blog via my blogroll).