|Created by||Glen A. Larson|
|Original work||Original series (1982)|
|Films and television|
|Film(s)||Knight Rider 2000 (1991)|
Knight Rider 2010 (1994)
Knight Rider (2008)
|Television series||Knight Rider (1982–1986)|
Team Knight Rider (1997–1998)
Knight Rider (2008–2009)
Code of Vengeance (1985–1986)
|Video game(s)||Knight Rider (1988)|
Knight Rider Special (1994)
Knight Rider: The Game (2002)
Knight Rider: The Game 2 (2004)
Knight Rider is an American entertainment franchise created by Glen A. Larson. The core of Knight Rider is its four television series: Knight Rider (1982–1986), Team Knight Rider (1997–1998), and Knight Rider (2008–2009). The franchise also includes three television films, computer and video games, and novels, as well as KnightCon, a Knight Rider convention. Beginning with the original television series and continuing with the subsequent films and series, the franchise has developed a cult following and spawned many pop culture references.
The original Knight Rider series followed the adventures of Michael Knight, a modern-day crime fighter who uses a technologically advanced, artificially intelligent automobile. This car, named KITT, is virtually indestructible, due to a high-tech coating applied to it. Knight Rider stories usually depict either average citizens, or ethical heads of corporations, being bullied into subservience to an overbearing or ruthless criminal organization. The protagonist(s) of each particular series is instructed by the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG) to assist in some manner. The protagonist(s) has the assistance of a high-tech, self-aware, and nearly indestructible vehicle.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Television
- 3 Television films
- 4 Video games
- 5 Spin-off media
- 6 Film adaptation
- 7 References
The series debuted in 1982 and ran for four seasons on NBC. These adventures were continued with the television films Knight Rider 2000 and Knight Rider 2010 and the short-lived Team Knight Rider. One other television movie, Knight Rider, served as a pilot for the 2008 television series Knight Rider. In 1985, a spin-off series, Code of Vengeance, also premiered.
|Characters||Television series||Television Films|
|Knight Rider||Team Knight Rider||Knight Rider||Knight Rider 2000||Knight Rider 2010||Knight Rider|
|Year of Release||1982-1986||1997-1998||2008-2009||1991||1994||2008|
|David Hasselhoff||David Hasselhoff||David Hasselhoff|
|KITT||William Daniels||Steve Forrest||Val Kilmer||William Daniels
|Hudson Leick||Val Kilmer|
|Devon Miles||Edward Mulhare||Edward Mulhare|
|Dr. Bonnie Barstow||Patricia McPherson|
|April Curtis||Rebecca Holden|
|Kyle Stewart||Brixton Karnes|
|Jenny Andrews||Christine Steel|
|Duke DePalma||Duane Davis|
|Erica West||Kathy Trageser|
|Kevin Sanders||Nick Wechsler|
(Michael Knight, Jr.)
|Justin Bruening||Justin Bruening|
|Dr. Sarah Graiman||Deanna Russo||Deanna Russo|
|Dr. Charles Graiman||Bruce Davison||Bruce Davison|
|Billy Morgan||Paul Campbell||Paul Campbell|
|Jake McQueen||Richard Joseph Paul|
|Will McQueen||Michael Beach|
Knight family tree
(Mary Kate McGeehan)
Three television series make up the bulk of the Knight Rider mythos: Knight Rider (1982–1986), Team Knight Rider (1997–1998), and Knight Rider (2008–2009). There also was a spin-off series, Code of Vengeance, that ran for one season (1985–1986). In total, 133 Knight Rider episodes have been produced across the seven seasons of the four various TV series.
Knight Rider (1982–1986)
The original Knight Rider series saw Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff), a crime fighter who uses a high tech, artificially intelligent automobile, the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT). This car is a virtually indestructible weapon that fights for justice, and is voiced by actor William Daniels. The show was created and produced by Glen A. Larson, and was originally broadcast on NBC from 1982 to 1986. The show has 90 episodes over four seasons, was highly popular with audiences.
Spin-off: Code of Vengeance (1985–1986)
The two-part episode Knight Rider episode "Mouth of the Snake", was a backdoor pilot for a 1984 series to be called All That Glitters. Rejected by NBC, the lead character and actor were recycled for a short-lived 1985–1986 series titled Code of Vengeance, in it, David Dalton (Charles Taylor), a Vietnam veteran-turned-drifter, travels across the United States in a camper van, with only his dog for company. Dalton involves himself in the personal lives of people he meets. In a similar fashion to Knight Rider, he uses his fighting skills to help them gain justice over their enemies. The Dalton character was retooled for the planned spin-off series, whose pilot, Code of Vengeance, was a surprise ratings success in June 1985. A subsequent series, to be called Dalton, was ordered by NBC for midseason, then production was cancelled after just four episodes were completed. These aired in the summer of 1986 as a television movie titled Dalton: Code of Vengeance II and as a part of a fill-in series called Dalton's Code of Vengeance.
Team Knight Rider (1997–1998)
Team Knight Rider is set ten years after the original series, sees that the Foundation of Law and Government (FLAG) has used a team of five "highly skilled operatives" to do the job that Michael Knight used to do, they are Kyle Stewart (Brixton Karnes), Jenny Andrews (Christine Steel), Duke DePalma (Duane Davis), Erica West (Kathy Trageser), and Kevin "Trek" Sanders, (Nick Wechsler). In one of the episodes it is implied that Jenny Andrews is the daughter of Michael Knight, however it is never confirmed. The series was created by writer/producers Rick Copp and David A. Goodman, and was distributed by Universal Domestic Television. It ran for a single season of 22 one-hour episodes before it was canceled due to poor ratings.
Knight Rider (2008–2009)
The new Knight Rider series followed Michael "Mike" Traceur, the estranged son of Michael Knight, as he takes up the mantle of the FLAG driver. This time, he is driving the Knight Industries Three Thousand, also known as "KITT". The series stars Justin Bruening as Mike Traceur/Knight, and 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, which is voiced by Val Kilmer. On May 19, 2009, NBC announced that Knight Rider was canceled after one season because of poor ratings.
Knight Rider (TBA)
Knight Rider 2000 (1991)
Knight Rider 2000 is a television sequel movie to the original Knight Rider series. It aired on May 19, 1991. It was directed by Alan J. Levi and written by Rob Hedden and Glen A. Larson. The movie sees Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) teaming up once again with Devon Miles (Edward Mulhare) in a near future science fiction setting. He is also paired up with a new supercar, the "Knight 4000" to combat Thomas J. Watts (Mitch Pileggi), a former police officer turned psychotic killer. The movie also starred Susan Norman as Officer Shawn McCormick, and Carmen Argenziano as Russell Maddock (and the voice of the Knight 4000). The movie was developed as a pilot for a proposed new series, but despite high ratings, the plan was abandoned.
Knight Rider 2010 (1994)
Knight Rider 2010 is a television movie loosely based on the original Knight Rider series. It aired on February 13, 1994. It was directed by Sam Pillsbury and written by John Leekley. The movie is set in a Mad Max-style future where Jake McQueen (Richard Joseph Paul) is a smuggler who is contacted by Hannah Tyree (Hudson Leick), an employee of the Chrysalis Corporation, who want him to work for them as part of their video games division. Jake fights the evil Jared (Brion James). Hannah's consciousness is uploaded into a computer that Jake then installs in his Mustang. The movie was broadcast as part of Universal Television's Action Pack.
Knight Rider (2008)
Knight Rider is a 2008 television film which was created to serve as a backdoor pilot for the new Knight Rider television series, and aired on February 17, 2008. The serves as a direct sequel to the original series and ignores the Knight Rider 2000 film and the Team Knight Rider television series. It was directed by Steve Shill and written by David Andron and Glen A. Larson. The movie sees Mike Traceur (Justin Bruening) teaming up his childhood friend, Sarah Graiman (Deanna Russo), her father Charles Graiman (Bruce Davison), and Special Agent Carrie Rivai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) to fight evil, he is paired up with a new KITT, the Knight Industries Three Thousand. The movie was a success and resulted in a new series.
Knight Rider (1988)
Knight Rider is a racing video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that is very loosely based on the television show of the same name. It was developed by Pack-In-Video and published by Acclaim Entertainment. The game sees KITT having to travel between fifteen cities that are featured, starting with San Francisco and ending in Los Angeles.
Knight Rider Special (1994)
Knight Rider Special (ナイトライダースペシャル Naito Raidā Supesharu) is a video game for the PC-Engine based on the 1980s television series Knight Rider. It was produced by and published by Pack-In Video Co. Ltd on December 16, 1994 in Japan only. The game has a series of levels and each one requires that KITT be navigated through and around various cars, big rig trucks, and other obstacles in order to reach their destination on each level.
Knight Rider: The Game (2002)
Knight Rider: The Game is a video game based on the original television series of the same name. It was developed by Davilex Games and distributed by Tri Synergy, and was released on November 22, 2002. The game allows the player to take control of KITT – the Knight Industries Two Thousand, in a range of missions including, racing, exploring, chasing and others. The player also meets famous villains from the original series, including KARR and Garthe Knight.
Knight Rider: The Game 2 (2004)
Various toy versions of KITT were released and produced solid profits. The more notable of the Knight Rider memorabilia includes the remote controlled KITT, the Knight Rider lunch box, and the deluxe version of KITT. This final model, sold by Kenner Toys and dubbed the "Knight Rider Voice Car", spoke electronically, using a recording of the voice of William Daniels, featured a detailed interior and a Michael Knight action figure as well.
Also in the 80s a Key Car of KITT was released. But it had no scanner and the windows were black with "Knight 2000" written in red letter on the doors. It included a key which was pushed into a hole below KITTs spoiler compressing a spring; then snaps into place. Squeezing the key releases it and the spring shoos the car forward.
As with many popular series of the era (including The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team etc.), ERTL released die-cast toys of KITT in three different sizes – the common miniature model, a "medium" model, and a large model. These toys featured red reflective holograms on the nose to represent the scanner (however, they were located on the point of the nose, rather like the early mock-up of KITT seen in the pilot episode) as opposed to altering the basic model design to incorporate the scanner as commonly seen in the series. The toys also included round steering wheels as opposed to KITT's steering yoke.
In September 2006, Hitari, a UK-based company that produces remote control toy cars, released the Knight Rider KITT remote control car in 1/15 scale, complete with the working red scanner lights, KITT's voice from the television show and the car's turbine engine sound with the "whoosh whoosh" scanner sound effect.
In December 2012, Diamond Select Toys released a talking electronic 1/15 scale KITT that features an illuminated dashboard, scanner, fog lights and tail lights, along with the original voice of KITT, William Daniels, all at a push of a button. An Entertainment Earth exclusive version of that Diamond Select Toys 1/15 KITT, exclusive, as it will include an in scale figure of Michael Knight to go with the car, was released in February 2013 and was available exclusively at Entertainment Earth's Web site. Diamond Select Toys will also was to be releasing an 8-inch figure of Michael Knight with the likeness of David Hasselhoff, which was to be released in March 2013.
In February 2013, Hot Wheels released a 1/18 die-cast of KITT as part of their die-cast Elite series of vehicles under their Cult Classics Collection. This one from Hot Wheels was an improvement over the one ERTL released back in 2004. With sharper attention to details on the dashboard, the model features an improved light up red scanner, opening doors and rear hatch, as well as an engine hood which opens up to reveal a detailed Knight 2000 turbine engine which is exclusive to the model and was never shown in the TV series. Additional features include pop up headlights, revolving license plates, ejector seats, removable t-tops and a foldable rear seat.
A "Fun Pack" based on Knight Rider for the toys-to-life video game Lego Dimensions is planned for release in February 2017. The pack includes a Michael Knight minifigure and constructible KITT, and will unlock additional Knight Rider-themed content in the game.
In 2016, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's "Zombies" mode features David Hasselhoff reprising his role as Michael Knight, appearing as the games map "Zombies in Spaceland"'s DJ. The Knight Rider theme plays in game and many references to the series and KITT are made.
In March 2002, Revolution Studios announced a partnership with Mayhem Pictures to create a film adaptation of the television series. The film would be re-designed to be similar to Revolution's previous project, XXX. Series creator Glen A. Larson was hired to write the first script draft, with the series' lead actor David Hasselhoff attached as an advisor and also have an onscreen role. In April 2003, Revolution Studios hired screenwriters David Elliott and Paul Lovett to pen the film's script. In April 2004, the premise of the film was described as having Hasselhoff reprise his role as Michael Knight, now the mentor to the protagonist as Devon Miles mentored Knight in the television series. The protagonist would be Knight's son, inheriting his father's role and driving the vehicle KITT. The producers' choice for the role was actor Ben Affleck.
In May 2006, The Weinstein Company acquired film rights to adapt Knight Rider from series creator Larson. He expressed his interest in the film adaptation as a potential franchise property. The following September, Hasselhoff invited actor Orlando Bloom to portray Knight's son in the film adaptation, but Bloom turned down the offer. In April 2007, Hasselhoff said, that the film was in development at Miramax, and that he would at least have a cameo in the film.
In December 2015, a media report indicated that a new movie named Knight Rider Heroes is in the works and will include David Hasselhoff.
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