Knight Rider was a 2008 series that follows the 1982 TV series of the same title 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 is played by Bruce Davison, the creator of a new generation of KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand), voiced by Val Kilmer. The series was in production for just one season.
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.
In advance of its anticipated weekly run, the new Knight Rider series was introduced with a television movieon 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 andLipstick Jungle. On October 21, 2008, NBC gave the show a full season order of 22 episodes. All of the episodes that aired on TV are also available on the PlayStation Network Video Store, Xbox Live Marketplace and iTunes Store. 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. On December 3, 2008, NBC reduced its season order to seventeen episodes. 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
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 - 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, 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 miniguns, defensive flares, offensive missiles, 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.
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.
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 not to continue on as the team's FBI agent. 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.
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Season 1 [Complete Series]
1.01 A Knight in Shining Armor
1.02 Journey to the End of the Knight
1.03 Knight of the Iguana
1.04 A Hard Day's Knight
1.05 Knight of the Hunter
1.06 Knight of the Living Dead
1.07 I Wanna Rock & Roll All Knight
1.08 Knight of the Zodiac
1.09 Knight Fever
1.10 Don't Stop the Knight
1.11 Day Turns Into Knight
1.12 Knight to King's Pawn
1.13 Exit Light, Enter Knight
1.14 Fight Knight
1.15 Fly By Knight
1.16 Knight and the City
1.17 I Love the Knight Life