Knight Rider (2008 TV series)

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Knight Rider
Knight Rider 2008 intertitle.png
Knight Rider intertitle
Genre Mystery
Thriller
Created by Glen A. Larson (Characters)
Developed by David Andron
Written by Dave Andron
Glen A. Larson
Matt Pyken
Gary Scott Thompson
Rob Wright
Philip Levens
Patrick Massett
John Zinman
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar
Allan Kroeker
Bryan Spicer
Starring Justin Bruening
Deanna Russo
Sydney Tamiia Poitier
Paul Campbell
Yancey Arias
Bruce Davison
Smith Cho
Voices of Val Kilmer as 'KITT'
Theme music composer Christopher Tyng
Composer(s) Christopher Tyng
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 17 (plus 1 TV movie) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) David Bartis
Glen A. Larson
Doug Liman
Matt Pyken
Gary Scott Thompson
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Dutch Oven Productions
Universal Media Studios
Gary Scott Thompson Productions
Distributor Universal Studios Home Entertainment
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format 1080i
Original run September 24, 2008 (2008-09-24) – March 4, 2009 (2009-03-04)
Chronology
Preceded by Knight Rider (1980s series)
Knight Rider (2008 film)

Knight Rider is a 2008 series that follows the 1982 TV series of the same title created by Glen A. Larson and the 2008 television movie. The series stars Justin Bruening as Mike Traceur, the estranged son of Michael Knight. The series also stars Deanna Russo as Sarah Graiman, Traceur's former girlfriend and love interest. Sarah is the daughter of Charles Graiman. Graiman, played by Bruce Davison, is the creator of a new generation of KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand), which is voiced by Val Kilmer. The series was in production for just one season.

Plot[edit]

The story takes place twenty five years after the original Knight Rider series. Mike Traceur (who later changes his name to Michael Knight), son of the original Michael Knight, has become the driver of the next generation KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand), now a Ford Shelby GT500KR Mustang. Along with a former fiancée Sarah Graiman, the daughter of the scientist Charles Graiman who designed both KITTs, Mike becomes the new champion of Knight Industries, a high tech government and law enforcement contractor.

In the episode "Day Turns Into Knight", Dr. Graiman dies due to an apparent explosion on a damaged aircraft, and Agent Rivai is seriously injured and forced to resign as the team's FBI agent. Afterwards, during the episode "Knight to King's Pawn", the NSA shuts down the KITT Project due to Dr. Graiman's death, and Agent Torres deactivates KITT in order to reactivate KARR. Torres believed that KITT's programming would be able to override KARR's inherent self-preservation protocols to save human lives instead of harming them. In holographic messages to Mike and Sarah, Dr. Graiman reveals this had always been Agent Torres's plan for KITT and that he had opposed him. Mike is told that he was KARR's original driver and that his mind was wiped in the wake of the project's failure. The team find KITT's AI stored online and attempt to rebuild it. Mike then infiltrates Area 51 to install the new KITT AI chip into his confiscated Mustang shell.

As Mike and KITT flee, KARR discovers that KITT has been reactivated and overcomes KITT's protocols, taking Torres as a hostage/driver. KITT is able to destroy KARR but Agent Torres dies shortly thereafter. Sarah discovers that her father had left all of the Knight Industries' funding in her name. Sarah, Mike, Zoe, and Billy use that funding to restart the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG) and continue on its original mission.

Production[edit]

In the spring of 2007, NBC-Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker hired Ben Silverman as chief NBC programmer, and asked him to help bring NBC out of last place in network ratings. One of Silverman's early moves was to try to revive old franchises like Knight Rider and American Gladiators. Silverman, in a deal endorsed by Ford Motor Company, the car supplier, approved production.[1] In advance of its anticipated weekly run, the new Knight Rider series was introduced with a television movie on February 17, 2008. The new series premiered on NBC on September 24, 2008 and lead the network's Wednesday evening lineup, along with Deal or No Deal and Lipstick Jungle.[2] On October 21, 2008, NBC gave the show a full season order of 22 episodes.[3] All of the episodes that aired on TV are also available on the PlayStation Network Video Store,[4] Xbox Live Marketplace[5] and iTunes Store.[6] The episodes are available in HD format and SD format.

On November 10, 2008, NBC reformatted the show in an effort to more closely resemble the storyline of its predecessor. Yancey Arias, Bruce Davison, and Sydney Tamiia Poitier's characters were removed from the series after the end of their original thirteen episode commitment starting with a two-part episode scheduled to air in January 2009. The show continued with a more character-driven focus on Michael and KITT.[7]

On December 3, 2008, NBC reduced its season order to seventeen episodes.[8] The series finale aired on March 4, 2009. When NBC's 2009-2010 schedule was announced on May 19, 2009, it did not include Knight Rider, effectively signaling the cancellation of the series.[9][10][11][12] Following the announcement, NBC was criticised and petitions to continue the series were made, but they failed.[citation needed]

Cast and characters[edit]

KITT[edit]

Main article: KITT

For the series premiere, many new features in KITT were introduced in addition to those seen on the pilot movie. As an homage to the original KITT's Super Pursuit Mode, the new KITT transforms into Attack Mode[13] - a significantly more aggressive version than the Attack Mode depicted in the pilot movie, which consisted primarily of an extended rear spoiler. KITT also transforms into a Ford F-150 FX4 pickup truck for off-road purposes,[14] a Ford E-150 van, Ford Flex, Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, and a 1969 Mach 1 Mustang for disguise purposes. The series also demonstrated capabilities such as KITT's Turbo Boost, allowing KITT to briefly become airborne, and submergibility, maintaining system integrity and life support for occupants while underwater. Also installed in KITT are a grappling hook, a laser that originates from his scanner bar, double mini-guns, defensive flares, offensive missiles, parachute, a dart gun, a sonic inhibitor and an EMP weapon.

The interior of the vehicle has been reworked, with the single display screen on the center console replaced by touch-enabled head-up displays spanning the entire interior surface of the windshield. The removal of the center console screen has also seen KITT's "presence" indicator, reminiscent of the original series KITT's voice modulator, appearing in a pulsing orb mounted high in the middle of the dashboard with a dot in the middle that shifts over to "look" at whoever he's talking to. Other interior changes include a more conventional steering wheel, replacing the previously seen 3/4 steering wheel, blue lighting in the dashboard over the driver's-side instrumentation and the passenger-side console that becomes red whenever KITT is in Attack Mode, and a standard Mustang rear seat instead of the super-computer laden rear seat of the movie KITT. The interior of 4x4 Mode uses the same customized Mustang dashboard, but the F-150's passenger and driver's seats. KITT also carries a backup mainframe that he can reboot to in the event his primary is damaged. KITT's mechanics are high-tech industrial robots named Katie, Lisa, and Hank. They scan KITT for damages and interact with the human actors.[15]

KITT's technology includes a surface screen program, enabling the hood to operate as a touchscreen display, similar to the internal head-up displays, a printer in the passenger-side console, and a 3D Object Generator in the rear passenger compartment, as well as a self-destruct program.

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
1 "A Knight in Shining Armor" David Solomon Gary Scott Thompson September 24, 2008 (2008-09-24) 7.349[16]
Mike goes after a woman from his past who abducts a man whose DNA contains a key to an unbreakable code.
2 "Journey to the End of the Knight" David Straiton Philip Levens October 1, 2008 (2008-10-01) 7.766[17]
Mike seeks the help of a former military buddy in a mission to infiltrate a drag race smuggling ring, but the friend may have smuggling ties of his own.
3 "Knight of the Iguana" Bryan Spicer Rob Wright October 8, 2008 (2008-10-08) 6.856[18]
Mike and Zoe (Smith Cho) pose as a couple to infiltrate a terrorist group in Baja California, suspected of stealing a powerful missile designed by Knight Research.
4 "A Hard Day's Knight" Allan Kroeker Dave Andron October 15, 2008 (2008-10-15) 7.470[19]
Mike is injected with a neural poison and has less than three hours to live unless he assassinates a billionaire tech mogul in order to procure the antidote.
5 "Knight of the Hunter" Jay Chandrasekhar Patrick Massett & John Zinman October 22, 2008 (2008-10-22) 7.226[20]
KITT disguises as a 4x4 for an off-road mission as Mike infiltrates a right-wing militia group that is plotting to blow up a dam. Along the way he encounters a British secret agent posing as one of them.
6 "Knight of the Living Dead" Leslie Libman Gary Scott Thompson November 5, 2008 (2008-11-05) 5.124[21]
A murderous hacker infiltrates the Knight headquarters and activates a self-destruct program hidden inside KITT. Meanwhile, Mike and Sarah have 30 minutes to relay KITT's software to the back-up system while the others rush to find a killer among them. Note: This episode reveals schematics of a re-imagined KARR as a returning nemesis.
7 "I Wanna Rock & Roll All Knight" Matt Earl Beesley Rachel Mellon & Teresa Huang November 12, 2008 (2008-11-12) 5.342[22]
Mike and KITT are assigned on a mission to catch a criminal couple who has been blowing up buildings. The mission gets more complicated when the couple kidnaps Agent Rivai and steals the classified personnel files of everyone at the SSC and threaten to upload them to the Internet.
8 "Knight of the Zodiac" J. Miller Tobin Matt Pyken November 19, 2008 (2008-11-19) 5.205[23]
Mike goes undercover in Las Vegas to bust a money laundering operation. Billy (Paul Campbell) joins the mission only to spark a romantic adventure of his own. Meanwhile, Dr. Graiman locks horns with an old rival and former flame who comes to assess how "green" the SSC is.
9 "Knight Fever" Milan Cheylov Matt Pyken December 31, 2008 (2008-12-31) 4.540[24]
Mike must stop the spread of a computer nanovirus that destroys electronics and threatens a global meltdown. The job gets more complicated when KITT is infected and suffers a series of malfunctions. Meanwhile, Mike's jealousy begins to show when Sarah reconnects with a former boyfriend (guest star Jeffrey Pierce), one of the developers of the virus and the only one who knows how to stop it.
10 "Don't Stop the Knight" Bryan Spicer Rob Wright January 7, 2009 (2009-01-07) 5.736[25]
Mike tries to save a kidnapped foreign ambassador (guest star Vanessa A. Williams) from a terrorist who sends Mike on a series of missions to acquire parts for a hafnium nuclear bomb. Meanwhile, Dr. Graiman tries to fix a temperamental robot named HANK. Agent Rivai eventually tracks down the terrorist's hide out but is caught in an explosion when a time bomb goes off.
11 "Day Turns Into Knight" Allan Kroeker Dave Andron January 14, 2009 (2009-01-14) 5.378[26]
While Rivai clings to life, Mike and KITT transport the terrorist's nuclear bomb, but to keep it from detonating they must maintain a speed over 100 MPH. The bomb is transferred, without stopping, to a C-130 transport plane and harmlessly detonated at high-altitude. Afterward, Mike learns of a second bomb located at a chemical plant in Phoenix, Arizona and he and Sarah rush to intercept it. At the end, Sarah learns her father was killed when the damaged C-130 explodes during an emergency landing. Note: This was the last appearance of Dr. Graiman (Bruce Davison) and Agent Rivai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier).
12 "Knight to King's Pawn" Jeffrey G. Hunt Patrick Massett & John Zinman January 21, 2009 (2009-01-21) 4.928[27]
While Sarah grieves over the loss of her father, Agent Torres (Yancey Arias) and the NSA dismantle the SSC and KITT's AI chip is removed to be installed in his evil predecessor KARR, (voiced by Peter Cullen), who is being kept at Area 51. To save himself, KITT secretly uploads his files to the internet and Billy and Zoe try to piece him back together. Meanwhile, Sarah uncovers a windfall of funds secretly left by her father to restart The Foundation for Law and Government at the SSC, and Mike learns that he was the original operator of KARR but his memories of the events were erased. Mike infiltrates Area 51, installs KITT's reconstructed AI into KITT's body and the two have a final confrontation with KARR who seizes Torres as his new operator. Note: This was the last appearance of Agent Torres (Yancey Arias). Dr. Graiman (Bruce Davison) appears in recorded messages to Mike and Sarah.
13 "Exit Light, Enter Knight" Gary Scott Thompson Gary Scott Thompson January 28, 2009 (2009-01-28) 6.229[28]
Mike tries to stop a bank heist, but is taken hostage and loses contact with KITT. While inside the vault, Mike learns the thieves didn't come for the money, but what is inside a mob lawyer's safety deposit box - the account numbers and access codes to his clients' off-shore bank accounts. As a SWAT team closes in, KITT tries to warn them of bombs planted in the building and Mike tries to foil the robbers' escape plans.
14 "Fight Knight" Nick Gomez Rob Wright February 4, 2009 (2009-02-04) 4.996[29]
Mike goes to Colorado to help an Army friend investigate the murder of her former drill sergeant (guest star Tiki Barber), and follows leads that the soldier may have been involved in an underground fight club that exploits military veterans.
15 "Fly By Knight" Jay Chandrasekhar Dave Andron February 11, 2009 (2009-02-11) 5.482[30]
Mike tries to rescue a kidnapped boy-genius who knows the location of a hidden stash of drugs stolen from a drug dealer. The boy leaves behind puzzling clues that Mike and KITT must solve in order to find him. Complicating things is the DEA agent assigned to the case who has Mike arrested for interfering.
16 "Knight and the City" Guy Norman Bee Matt Pyken February 18, 2009 (2009-02-18) 5.317[31]
Mike suspects foul play when the owner of his favorite hangout, "Sonny's Bar", is killed in a suspicious accident and the place is taken over by an unsavory crowd.
17 "I Love the Knight Life" Alex Zakrzewski Philip Levens March 4, 2009 (2009-03-04) 5.679[32]
Mike and KITT try to procure a stolen high-tech serum called HXP that enhances physical abilities before the thieves can sell it to North Korean buyers. When Mike corners Galt, the main suspect, he finds Galt has overdosed on the serum and possesses super-human strength.

On December 3, 2008, NBC reduced its season order to seventeen episodes. The series finale aired on March 4, 2009. On May 19, 2009, NBC announced that they would not renew Knight Rider for a second season.

DVD release[edit]

Knight Rider: The Complete Series DVD was released on July 28, 2009 on a four disc set with bonus material.[33][34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NBC Hired a Hit Maker. It’s Still Waiting. New York Times Business Section, May 16, 2009
  2. ^ NBC Reveals Fall Series Premiere Dates
  3. ^ "NBC To Pick Up Nine Additional Episodes Of "Knight Rider To Complete Full-Season Order For 2008-09". Futon Critic. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  4. ^ "PlayStation Network Video Content Update". SCEA. 
  5. ^ "Xbox LIVE Marketplace Knight Rider". Retrieved 2008-11-07. [dead link]
  6. ^ "ABC, CBS, FOX & NBC Offer Incredible Lineup of Programming in Stunning HD on the iTunes Store". Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2008-11-10). "'Knight Rider' goes back to its roots". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2008-12-09. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Knight Rider: NBC Reduces Episode Order, Essentially Canceled?". Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  9. ^ Levin, Gary (2009-04-15). "The early line on fall: What's in, out and undecided". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  10. ^ "NBC News: Chuck Renewed; My Name Is Earl, Medium Canceled". E! Online. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  11. ^ "The Futon's Upfront Notes: ABC & NBC". The Futon Critic. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  12. ^ "NBC announces fall schedule: 'Chuck' stays, 'Southland' moves to Fridays". Entertainment Weekly. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  13. ^ Shadowy Flight - Attack KITT Revealed at Comic Con
  14. ^ PickupTrucks.com: First Look at Knight Rider's KITT in 4x4 Mode
  15. ^ A Closer Look at the NBC 'Knight Rider' Robots
  16. ^ Gorman, Bill (September 30, 2008). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, September 22–28". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  17. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 7, 2008). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, September 29-October 5". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  18. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 14, 2008). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, October 6–12". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  19. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 21, 2008). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, October 13–19". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  20. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 29, 2008). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, October 20–26". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  21. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 11, 2008). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, November 3–9". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  22. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 18, 2008). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, November 10–16". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  23. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 25, 2008). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, November 17–23". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  24. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 7, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, Dec 29 - Jan 4". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  25. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 13, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, January 5–11". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  26. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 21, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, January 12–18". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  27. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 27, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, January 19–25, 2009". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  28. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 3, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, January 26 - February 1, 2009". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  29. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 10, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, February 2–8, 2009". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  30. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 18, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, February 9–15, 2009". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  31. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 24, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, February 16–22, 2009". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  32. ^ Seidman, Robert (March 10, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 2–8, 2009". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Knight Rider DVD news: Announcement for Knight Rider — Season 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  34. ^ "Knight Rider DVD news: Box Art for Knight Rider — Season 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 

External links[edit]