US tv series (1982-1986). Glen A Larson Productions/Universal Television for NBC-TV. Created by Glen A Larson. Produced by Gino Grimaldi, Tom Greene, Steven E de Souza, Gerald Sandford, Hannah Louise Shearer and Harker Wade. Directors included Bob Ball, George Fenady, Sidney Hayers, Winrich Kolbe, and Jeffrey Hayden. Writers included Burton Armus, de Souza, Janis Herdler, Bruce Lansbury, Larson and Richard Christian Matheson, Cast includes William Daniels, David Hasselhoff, Rebecca Holden, Patricia McPherson, Edward Mulhare and Peter Parros. Narrator: Richard Basehart. 86 55-minute episodes. Colour.
Michael Long, a crime-fighter for the organisation FLAG (Foundation for Law and Government), is shot in the face in the debut episode; with his face rebuilt through extensive plastic surgery, he is given the new identity Michael Knight (Hasselhoff) and becomes the driver of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). KITT is an advanced AI automobile, heavily armoured to withstand almost any attack. The car communicates with Knight verbally (voiced by Daniels). Knight receives assignments each episode from Devon Miles (Mulhare), usually involving going after routine criminals. For the first season, Dr Bonnie Barstow (McPherson) was KITT's chief technician and occasional romantic interest for Knight. She was replaced the second year by April Curtis (Holden), but returned after lobbying by fans (and by Hasselhoff himself) for the remainder of the series' run. The final season introduced Reginald Cornelius III (Parros), driver of a FLAG mobile unit, who sometimes assists Michael and KITT on their missions. FLAG founder Wilton Knight (Basehart) dies in the initial episode, but his opening and closing narration continue through the series run.
Considerable Tie merchandise appeared, as well as five official novelizations credited to Glen A Larson and Roger Hill (whom see for details). Toys included action figures, remote-control models and the like. An effort was made by NBC-TV in 2008 to revive Knight Rider with an updated series set twenty years after the original and starring Justin Bruening, Deanna Russo, Bruce Davison, and Val Kilmer. This followed on from a 2008 made-for-tv film also titled Knight Rider, but drew only modest ratings. Despite changes made in mid-season, the revival ended after 22 episodes in 2009. [JSt]
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