Cranky but likable L.A. PI Jim Rockford pulls no punches (but takes plenty of them). An ex-con sent to the slammer for a crime he didn't commit, Rockford takes on cases others don't want, aided by his tough old man, his lawyer girlfriend and some shady associates from his past.
Jim's Malibu neighborhood becomes the site of a treasure hunt for a stash of gold bullion, stolen fifty years earlier.
Jim rubs shoulders with royalty when a princess hires him because she believes someone is trying to kill her friend (Lauren Bacall).
Jim senses something is out of tune while looking into the disappearance of a rock star's producer.
While consoling his morose love-lorn friend Eddie, Jim continues to look for the missing producer. He eventually finds his body but the presumed killer is not whom he had expected.
Jim reconnects with Dr. Megan Dougherty and discovers she is engaged to another man. When she believes he is missing Jim agrees to help her, despite the fact he disapproves of her engagement and for his feelings for Megan.
The special guest of a P.I. convention dinner is found murdered in the restroom, and Jim unhappily finds himself once more having to team up with flawless Lance White (Tom Selleck), while accident prone Freddie Beamer tags along.
Jim is tricked into believing he's won a trip to Hawaii, when it really turns out to be doing a favor for an old army pal in the CIA.
Rita Capkovic (Rita Moreno) comes to Jim for help after her former pimp has beaten her up for refusing to work for him again. As Jim helps Rita recover she begins to see him as more than just as a friend, to the concern of everyone.
Rockford gets a phone call telling him to expect a package in the mail. Two hoods then murder the caller and go to Rockford's trailer to await the package's arrival. When the package is a wheel of cheese the mystery only gets deeper.
Rockford flies to Newark for a case and is robbed, leaving him stranded at the police station. Jim is caught in the middle of a mob war when 2 mooks, looking to make a name for themselves, get involved and complicate everything.
In the series finale, Jim Rockford drives off into a California sunset in his wounded Firebird, after being ensnared in a small-town council battle with big implications. While trout fishing in the mountains, the vacationing PI becomes the emergency proxy for a fellow angler, an environmentalist councilman, felled by appendicitis. But the seemingly-innocuous proposition for a Parma city park, attracts a trailer load of New Jersey mobsters who urge Rockford to keep his vote green, or sleep with the fishes. Meanwhile, this town council in the land of endless propositions, acts to force their temporary member Rockford to go fishing under the moonlight, but not in Parma.