Knight Rider is an American television series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to August 8, 1986. The series was broadcast on NBC and starred David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a high-tech modern-day knight fighting crime. Michael Knight drove a sentient talking car with artificial intelligence. Conceived and produced by Glen A. Larson, the show was an instant hit. "I wanted to do The Lone Ranger with a car", Larson said in The Last Great Ride. "Kind of a sci-fi thing, with the soul of a western."
In 2008, following the broadcast of a TV movie used as a backdoor pilot, it was announced that a new season of Knight Rider will be put into production with the first new episode to be broadcast in September 2008.
Knight Rider reruns on Retro Television Network, Hulu, returned on Sleuth, an NBC Universal cable television channel, in September 2008. In Canada, it airs on Saturday and Sunday on the DejaView network and on Prise 2 in French. In the UK, re-runs can be seen on the Satellite, Cable and Digital Terrestrial channel Bravo and Virgin 1 at selected times. In the Middle East the show can be seen on TV Land. In Malaysia, the show was aired during TV3 prime time slot back in 1986.
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).
On September 26, 2007, NBC announced that it was creating a two-hour backdoor pilot to air later that season. In the new version, Justin Bruening stars as the estranged son of Michael Knight, Mike Traceur. Deanna Russo plays Traceur's one-time girlfriend and love interest, Sarah Graiman. Bruce Davison co-stars as her father, physicist Charles Graiman, the original designer of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). Wayne Kasserman co-stars as Mike's roommate and friend. David Hasselhoff also has a cameo as Michael Knight. KITT is portrayed as a Ford Shelby GT 500 KR Mustang.
Supervising producer Dave Andron wrote the pilot script, Doug Liman and Dave Bartis executive produced it. NBC announced on December 13, 2007 that the new 2-hour pilot will air on February 17, 2008. Val Kilmer is the voice for the new KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) Mustang (the part had been recorded by Will Arnett, but he was asked to withdraw by General Motors because of Arnett's prior agreements with GM on advertising.), and Sydney Tamiia Poitier, the youngest daughter of Sidney Poitier, plays FBI agent Carrie Rivai.
After receiving good ratings, NBC announced that Knight Rider will return as a weekly series beginning in the fall of 2008. The show is set to air Wednesdays at 8:00PM/7:00PM CT. The series premiered Sept 24, 2008 on NBC.
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.
|DVD Name||Ep#||Region 1||Region 2||Region 3 |
|Season One||22||August 3, 2004||September 13, 2004||April 7, 2007||December 1, 2004|
|Season Two||24||April 12, 2005||July 4, 2005||July 24, 2007||September 19, 2005|
|Season Three||22||January 31, 2006||May 26, 2006||TBA||July 12, 2006|
|Season Four||22||April 4, 2006||September 18, 2006||TBA||September 20, 2006|
|The Complete Series||90||October 21, 2008||November 13, 2006||N/A||N/A|
Knight Rider was a boon for General Motors Pontiac and also Cadillac. Pontiac supplied the Trans Am for the show, which in 1982 was a newly-redesigned model. Knight Rider promoted the Pontiac label for General Motors. Cadillac also benefited because Michael Knight's boss Devon sometimes drove a Cadillac. He would drive a Cadillac Seville, Cadillac Eldorado, or a stretch Cadillac DeVille limousine. In addition, General Motors supplied cars for the show's production.
On July 8, 2008, GPS manufacturer Mio Technology announced the release of a Knight Rider-themed GPS unit for a price of $270. The unit has the original Knight Rider logo printed above the display and features the voice of William Daniels.
In the 80's there was a Knight Rider toy vehicle for Germany's Darda system.
In the modern era, Knight Rider the Game was produced by Davilex International under license. Players could drive KITT through 15 missions and meeting characters from the show like Devon, Bonnie, KARR and Garthe Knight.
With the popularity of Knight Rider the Game, Davilex also released a sequel in late 2004. The game improved the overall structure of the game, but didn't follow the original series much as KITT has weapons and he uses them to fight robots.
In Japan, between 2002 and 2004, a Japanese toy manufacturer Aoshima which had the official license to produce Knight Rider merchandise, produced the Knight Rider FLAG trailer truck 1/28 scale model and a KITT and KARR mini-Z racers (these were R/C cars).
Charawheels 1/64 scale die-cast toy model of KITT (2004) — Charawheels is “Hot Wheels” in Japan. This toy is very hard to find now.
As with many popular series of the era (including The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team et al), ERTL released die-cast toys of KITT in three different sizes - the common miniature sized model, a 'medium' sized model, and a large sized 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) 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 customised one. Also in late 2004, 18 scale die-cast models of KITT and KARR were produced from ERTL complete with detailed interior and light up moving scanner just like in the series. KARR was later manufactured by Aoshima. They repainted the KITT models that they got from ERTL with KARR's colours and changed the scanner to amber. Both KITT and KARR sold very well both in stores and online. These models are still available on various websites selling die-cast models, as well as eBay.
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 TV show and the car's turbine engine sound with the "whoosh whoosh" scanner sound effect. This can still be found online at eBay or at some stores in the UK.
In March 2007, Advanced Mobile Solutions Ltd (AMS) published the Knight Rider mobile game in 2D and 3D versions. The game has been released on wireless carriers' networks in Europe with a planned Q2 2007 release in the U.S. and Asia. In the 10 multi-level missions, the user plays avatar Michael Knight and drives KITT to combat enemies such as KARR, Goliath, the Fist and others.
In June 2008, it was announced that a GPS system with Knight Rider stylings and the voice of KITT (William Daniels) was being made by Mio Technology and would be released in autumn.
Knight Rider proved immensely popular overseas, and continues in syndication in various countries today.
|Argentina|| El Auto Fantástico|
(The Fantastic Car)
|Australia||Knight Rider||None|| Nine Network|
|First run on the Nine Network, generally shortly after first runs in the US, Knight Rider never really ran in repeats in Australia until the formation of pay-tv channel TV1.|
|Austria||Knight Rider||Dubbed|| ORF1|
|Brazil|| A Super Máquina|
(The Super Machine)
|Dubbed|| SBT (TVS) (1984-1985)|
Rede Record (1988-1993)
Channel 21 (Play TV) (1996-1999)
|Bangladesh||Knight Rider||Unchanged|| |
BTV (National TV)
|Was a very popular series on TV in the mid 80's. Aired on Wednesdays at 9pm|
|Bulgaria|| Среднощен Ездач|
|KITT remained КИТТ and Michael Knight was Майкъл Найт. Although the false translation of the title, the name remained the same and was not translated.|
(Thunderous Knight (errant))
|Dubbed||CCTV (1993)||Michael Knight's name was transliterarily as 麦克柰特("mai-ke-nai-te"). KITT was transliterated as “基特”(ji-te).|
|Colombia|| El Auto Fantástico|
(The Fantastic Car)
|Dubbed|| Cadena Uno (1985-1991)|
Canal Uno (2006-2008)
|Knight Rider became a popular series in the 80's. Now run in repeats, as a cult show.|
|Costa Rica|| El Auto Fantastico|
(The Fantastic Car)
|Dubbed|| Channel 7|
|Czech Republic||Knight Rider||Dubbed||TV Prima|
|Dominican Republic||El Auto Fantástico||Dubbed|| Telesistema|
|Ecuador||El Auto Fantástico||Dubbed||Telecentro (TC) - 1980s, 2008||Telesistema (RTS) - 1990s.|
|Estonia||Knight Rider||Subtitled||TV3||First appeared on Estonian TV in the form of a mock KITT voice in numerous salt cracker commercials featuring clips of the show where Hasselhoff is eating crackers.|
|Finland|| Ritari Ässä|
|Subtitled||MTV||The Swedish speaking minority in Finland may use either the Finnish title or Swedish (identical to English) title when talking about the show.|
|France||K 2000||Dubbed|| M6|
|K 2000: K for Knight, the intro also reference Michael as a knight and his horse. It first debuted on La Cinq.|
|Germany||Knight Rider||Dubbed|| RTL|
|The show's opening text has been changed to: Knight Rider - ein Auto, ein Computer, ein Mann - Ein Mann und sein Auto kämpfen gegen das Unrecht (Knight Rider - a car, a computer, a man - A man and his car fight against injustice). The FLAG was called "Foundation für Recht und Verfassung" (Foundation for Law and Constitution).|
|Greece|| Ο ιππότης της ασφάλτου|
(O Ippotis tis asfaltou)
(The Knight of Asphalt)
|Subtitled||In the late 1980s, a Greek b-movie was produced, based on a Greek version of Knight Rider, called "Psit", starring the comedy actor Kostas Voutsas in the role of Michalis Nichtas (Μιχάλης Νύχτας), a transliteration of the name Michael Night (not Knight).|
|Israel|| Abir al Galgalim|
(Knight on Wheels)
|Most people refer to the series as "Hamechonit Hashchora" ("The Black Car").|
|Hungary||Knight Rider||Dubbed||KITT was voiced by László Versényi, although much deeper than the original. The reason for such a deep voice was that Hungarian people were not used to a telephonic voice like William Daniels' KITT. Most of KITT's functions were translated in a way that they were named "Mode", for example, "Turbo Boost" was called "Turbo Mode", or sometimes "Turbo Drive". Super Pursuit Mode was translated S-P-M-Stage (S-P-M-Fokozat). During the original airing in 1992, the episodes were disordered and were left in this scrambled way until the latest airing in 2005-2006, when the episodes were aired according to the original episode sequence. FLAG was translated as "Jogért és Igazságért Alapítvány (Foundation for Right and Justice). In Hungary, Knight Rider was one of the first crime fighter series and is still popular among many fans.|
|India||Knight Rider|| Doordarshan|
|Italy||Supercar||Dubbed||Italia 1||This is widely recognized as one of the most successful series in the history of Italian television. The introduction soundtrack is always the instrumental from the pilot "Knight of the Phoenix", the narrated version is never used. The same way, the ending quote "One man can make a difference, Michael", at the epilogue, is replaced with only the soundtrack, giving the audience the classical image of the venture hero riding away, rather than the one of a person with a mission stated by a dead man. A different character interpretation is present in many lines from KITT, especially from early episodes. Assuming that KITT's behavior while speaking is in between HAL9000 from 2001 and VINCENT from The Black Hole, there are lines (for example, in the pilot, when KITT returns to Michael after having been stolen) where it sounds much more formal and distant (like HAL9000) in Italian than in the original dialogue. The voice was also deeper than the English one, so much that at the beginning of Season 2 ("Goliath") the dubbing actor was changed. The early voice belongs to Adolfo Lastretti and the later one, closer to the original, to Massimo Venturiello. An edition aired in the Italian-speaking Switzerland in 1985 had, for at least a couple of episodes, a different audio mix, with the front scanner "humming" noise removed or heavily lowered. It also sported the original title in the opening sequence.|
|Japan|| ナイトライダー in Katakana|
(Romaji: Naito Raidā)
|Dubbed||TV Asahi||The sequence of the episodes was very different from the original. For example, "Voo Doo Knight" was the last episode in the USA, but "The Scent of Roses" was the last one in Japan. Most season two episodes were aired before starting Season One. The following episodes (from Season One unless otherwise indicated) were not aired in Japan, but they are still available in the Japanese version (Region 2) of Knight Rider DVDs: Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular, Not a Drop to Drink, A Plush Ride, Forget Me Not, Hearts of Stone, A Nice, Indecent Little Town, White Bird, Knight Moves, Short Notice, and Silent Knight (Season Two). Season 4 was retitled Shin Knight Rider (新ナイトライダー) (New Knight Rider) to reflect KITT's Super Pursuit Mode upgrade.|
|Latvia|| Ceļojošais bruņinieks|
|Lithuania|| Ratuotas Riteris|
(Knight on Wheels)
|Mexico|| El Auto Increible|
(The Incredible Car)
|KITT's voice was provided by Germán Robles who, oddly enough, was born in Spain.|
|Netherlands||Knight Rider||Subtitled||RTL 7|
|New Zealand||Knight Rider||None|
|Pakistan||Knight Rider||PTV||The series gained a massive following and even now cars can be seen with a row of red lights imitating KITT's scanner. It remains the most popular American TV show ever broadcast in the country to date.|
|Peru|| El Auto Fantástico|
(The Fantastic Car)
|Dubbed|| Frecuencia Latina|
|Knight Rider became a popular series in the 80s and 90's, even now it is widely recognized as a good show|
|The character names and KITT itself have not been changed in the first translation, although in the second one KITT was called "K". Due to bad sound quality in some episodes, many fans were thinking that Michael was driving KARR. Although, in episode 3 or 4 of the first season, KITT says "Jednak wolę być K 2000", which can be translated as "I want to remain as K 2000". That convinced Polish fans that Michael was driving KITT.|
|Portugal|| O Justiceiro|
(The Bringer/Enforcer of Justice)
|Unchanged||RTP1, TVI||Some years after its prime reruns of the show were broadcast, there were the dubbed version from Brazil, which to many made the show unintentionally funnier than the original version (Brazilian and Portuguese people tend to consider each other's pronunciation funny in general).|
|Subtitled||Tele7abc||This show was one of the most successful series aired on Romanian television after the 1989 Revolution. Teenagers and kids of that period all know who KITT was.|
|Russia|| Рыцарь дорог|
(Knight of Roads)
|Saudi Arabia||Knight Rider||None||Saudi Aramco Channel 3 & Saudi TV Channel 2||One of the few shows that was permitted airtime, despite the fact that many of the female actresses wore short shorts, something unacceptable in Saudi culture.|
|Slovenia|| Vitez za volanom|
(Knight Behind the (steering) Wheel)
|Subtitled|| Kanal A|
|South Africa||Knight Rider||None||Knight Rider had an effect out of all proportion to its immediate stature at the time of production, by creating a significant circumvention of the UN imposed sanctions during the era of Apartheid. The episodes "Goliath pt 1 & pt. 2" with the confrontation between Garthe Knight and Michael Knight, and therefore between KITT and Goliath, were filmed in South West Africa, then the U.N. mandate of South Africa. Moreover, local black acting talent John Kani provided a compelling African Dictator, Tsombe Kuna, a supporting villain to Garthe Knight, as the driving force supporting the construction of Goliath. The effect of the production for the SABC's syndication was electric - they furnished the Knight Rider crew with all facilities, and a number of SABC crew names appear on the credits of the two part episode.|
|South Korea|| 전격 Z 작전|
(The Blitzkrieg Operation Z)
|Spain|| El Coche Fantástico|
(The Fantastic Car)
|Dubbed|| TVE |
Antena 3 (1991-1998)
|"Coche" translates to "car", this is a stylistic difference of the Spanish language, whose vernacular varies from country to country) and FLAG was called "Fundación para la Ley y el Orden". The voice of KITT was dubbed by Carlos Revilla, a fondly remembered actor who later provided the voice of Homer Simpson. Funnily enough, in the Spanish version of the episode The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace, KITT makes an animated cameo and Mr. Revilla dubs both his voice and Homer's.|
|Sri Lanka||Knight Rider||Subtitled|| Rupavahini|
|Sweden|| Nattens riddare|
(Knight of the Night)
|Subtitled||The show has three names, "Nattens riddare", "Riddaren i natten" and "Knightrider".|
(Thunderous Knight (errant))
|Dubbed and subtitled for first run, bilingual broadcast and subtitled for repeats||CTV||Michael Knight's name was translated to be "李麥克" ("Mike Lee"). KITT was known as "霹靂車" or "Thunderous Car".|
|Turkey|| Kara Şimşek|
|Dubbed||TRT 1||The show was such a big hit that during the years of the initial run, many automobiles and vans were fit with a thin row of red lights that imitated KITT's scanner. It has left such strong memories that stand-up comedian Cem Yılmaz came up with a series of television commercials as recent as 2005, where he had a talking car named GİTT, a Murat 124 (a cheap car that was manufactured in 60's and 70's in Turkey based on Fiat 124), outfitted with the scanner. In one petrol commercial Yilmaz drag races his GİTT 124 against a Corvette on the Istanbul Park raceway. They take off together, as the Corvette crosses the line and comes to a halt, the driver steps out to see Yilmaz playing a game of table football, casually proclaiming a 5-0 victory as the driver listens in.|
|Ukraine|| Мандрівний лицар|
|United Kingdom||Knight Rider||None|| ITV1|
Virgin 1 Channel Five
|No longer airing on ITV1 and Channel Five.|
A series of annuals were published each year in the UK by Grandreams. These books consisted of a mix of text stories and cartoon strips, as well as photos and articles on the shows stars and KITT. There were five annuals produced in total, each reflecting the different season of the show that was airing at the time, with the final two releases covering the final season. (The last annual was printed in a quite small quantity, due to popularity of the show gradually fading, and is considerably rarer as a result).