The Rockford Files was developed by Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins to feature Rockford as an anti-hero private detective. Having served five years in San Quentin after a wrongful conviction, Rockford lives on the beach in a run-down mobile home, which also serves as his office. Although he seems to be perpetually short of money, Rockford drives a late-model gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit, which became one of the show's icons.
John Rogers, Chris Downey and Dean Devlin consider The Rockford Files as a major influence on the development of Leverage. John Rogers cites elements of the season five episode "Never Send a Boy King to Do a Man's Job" as contributing major plot components to The Second David Job.
- "The Lost Heir Job"
- "The Top Hat Job" - Any punch-in-the-gut ending in the target landing in a chair. John Rogers always points these out as a nod to James Rockford.
- "The Jailhouse Job" - Rockford Private Correctional Facility is a nod to James Rockford.
- "The Reunion Job" - Alec Hardison reveals that Nathan Ford has all the seasons of The Rockford Files in his Netflix Queue.
- "The Boost Job" - Much of this episode is based off a two-part episode of The Rockford Files called "Never Send a Boy King To Do a Man's Job". Rockford, disguised as a foolhardy rich man, manipulates his target into racing him for pink slips which results in Rockford taking his custom race car, much to the target's chagrin. This entire scene plays out almost identically in The Boost Job.
- "The Three-Card Monte Job" - Jimmy Papadokalis makes another appearance.