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The Wayback Machine: Knight Rider (1982)


I saw a commercial or something the other day, using the theme music from Knight Rider, a cool NBC property I always loved and had almost forgotten about. Yeah, I know, not like me at all.

Knight Rider was a TV series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to August 8, 1986. The series starred David Hasselhoff (Young and the Restless) as Michael Knight, a high-tech modern crime fighter assisted by an advanced AI in a nearly indestructible car.

So let’s dial up the olWayback Machine to 1982 and away we goooooo

Conceived and produced by Glen A. Larson, the show was an instant hit. “I wanted to do The Lone Ranger with a car,” and “Kind of a sci-fi thing, with the soul of a western,” Larson said in The Last Great Ride.

Self-made billionaire Wilton Knight rescues police detective Michael Arthur Long after a near fatal shot to the face, giving him a new identity (via plastic surgery) and a new name: Michael Knight. Wilton selects Michael to be the primary field agent in the pilot program of his public justice organization, the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG). The other half of this pilot program is the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT), a heavily modified Pontiac (Really?) Firebird Trans-Am with numerous features including an extremely durable shell and frame. Michael and KITT are brought in during situations where “direct action might provide the only feasible solution.”

Heading FLAG is Devon Miles, who provides Michael with directives and guidance. Dr. Bonnie Barstow is the chief engineer in charge of KITT’s care, as well as technical assistant to Devon (April Curtis fills this role in Season 2).

The car used as KITT in the series was a customized 1982 Trans-Am sports model that cost $100,000 to build.

In March 2002, Revolution Studios announced a partnership with Mayhem Pictures to create a movie based on the TV series. The film would be re-designed to be similar to Revolution’s previous project, xXx. Series creator Larson was hired to write the first script draft,  with the series’ lead actor Hasselhoff attached to advise the project 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 TV 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 (Batman, Daredevil). The series’ voice of KITT, William Daniels (1776), was being sought by Hasselhoff to reprise his role, as well as Peter Cullen for the voice of KARR.

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 the film was in development at Miramax and that he would at least have a cameo in the film.

In September 2007, Larson appeared in a personal video for Knightcon ‘07 in the UK. This marked Larson’s first public video appearance, in which he addressed the fans directly and presented visual confirmation of a script for a proposed Knight Rider motion picture. Since this initial appearance, plans have been underway at Weinstein to bring Knight Rider to the big screen as an updated take on the original series pilot, “Knight of the Phoenix.” (No word as to who would portray Jean Grey, lol!) Larson’s motion picture plans have no connection to the 2008 TV series by NBC.

On June 26, 2013, Brad Copeland reportedly wrote the film’s script after beating out Travis Beacham, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.

On February 13, 2014, Schmoes Know reports that actors Chris Pratt and Danny McBride are in talks for roles and may use a sort of action-comedy hybrid in the same vein as 21 Jump Street.

Knight Rider as Jump Street? Nah.

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Airwolf, Knight Rider & More Get Digital Comic Book Series


It’s the return of the 80s as NBCUniversal is bringing back five properties to digital comic book form.

Airwolf, Knight Rider, Miami Vice, Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell will available later this year.

See below for full details.


Press Release

NBCUniversal, one of the world’s premier media and entertainment companies, has partnered with digital publisher Lion Forge Comics to develop licensed comic books based on popular TV shows from the 1980s and 90s. Under the agreement licensed through the NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products Group, Lion Forge will write, develop and publish digital comics based on the following shows:

• “Airwolf”

• “Knight Rider”

• “Miami Vice”

• “Punky Brewster”

• “Saved by the Bell”

“Partnering with the team at Lion Forge to bring classic TV properties to life in graphic novel format was a natural step for us as we continue to identify new ways to entertain our fans in the digital space,” said Chris Lucero, director of Global Consumer Products Licensing for NBCUniversal Television. “We’re excited to give fans a chance to revisit some of their favorite shows and characters in a completely new way.”
Well-known writers currently signed on to work on the projects include: Joelle Sellner (Teen Titans, Jackie Chan Adventures, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi); Jonathan London (Geekscape); Geoffrey Thorne (Leverage, Ben 10) and David Gorden (Catalyst Prime: Accel and
Catalyst Prime: Quincredible). 
Currently, Jason Johnson (Wetworks, Godstorm) and Lion Forge’s own Carl Reed and Lorenzo Lizana are on board as artists. 
“From hugely popular characters such as Crockett and Tubbs, Zack Morris and Punky Brewster to highly stylized music and clothing choices, these TV franchises have had a significant impact on pop culture,” said David Steward, CEO, Lion Forge. “We here at Lion Forge are looking forward to extending that influence by creating visually appealing and entertaining experiences on mobile devices for a whole new generation of fans.”
The comics are planned for distribution in Q3 and Q4 2013, and will be available through the Amazon Kindle Bookstore, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s The Nook Book Store and Kobo.
Lion Forge executives will participate on a panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 20, in Room: 26AB (SDCC), where they will discuss these and other properties in development.
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