Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

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Shredder565
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Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by Shredder565 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:22 pm

I know this ain't an old topic.....but hear me out on this one.

First: Almost every car that gets driven is a shiny new Ford.
Second: Ford apparently has the right to Veto casting decisions (Re:Voice of KITT)
Third: Ford most likely would not allow a competitor car on the show (KI2T)
Fourth: Logo's Everywhere ....

Regarding number 4, KI3T looks so much better in attack mode without that snake logo, or whatever it is Ford uses for the Mustang on the front grill. Get rid of the logo's on the seats. This is the day and age of the Internet. If someone wants to find out what car it is, it's easy enough to find out, even without the Ford Commercials in between the show. - Do we really need to return from an act break focusing on the Ford logo of an old Tractor Trailer?

Perfect solution? Do a 'KITT gets destroy' episode. Perfect excuse to have the car re-designed by an actual FAN of the original show, with a real DASH and features that make it look different than a production model car and have that cool factor the original did. Tone down the Hi-Tech ness of it all to boot. No Transforming into other FORD vehicles, for instance. Apparently the car company invests allot into Knight Industry Research to boot :).

Any other thoughts? :kitt:

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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by Amir » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:52 pm

It's definately not KILLING the show, not at all. It may not help, but who cares if it's full of Fords (it has to have cars around anyway), or has a logo. As for KI2T, he's never going to be a regular 'character' in the show. It would obviously be great if he makes an appearance, but again, it's not going to make or break the show.

Give us good writing, good car action and good stunts, and none of this will matter.

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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by ex812 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:08 pm

Why is everyone harping on the seat logos??? I don't hear anyone complaining about the PMD badge on the original seats. Last time I checked that stood for Pontiac Motor Division not Knight Industries???? What about the Pontiac arrow head that was visible every time you saw the hubcaps??? Lets give it a rest and just enjoy the show, without ford we would not have a new Knight Rider

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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by PHOENIXZERO » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:23 pm

The Arnett issue was a problem with GM, not Ford and it's Arnett's contract with GM that forced him off the show.

There have been other cars on the show and even in the last episode Mike all but drooled over a Dodge Super Bee. Granted it was then promptly wrecked a couple scenes later, heh. I doubt Ford is going to be an issue with getting the original KITT on as a Trans-Am, you should look to Pontiac. While I'm sure that the same people that were in charge 17-28 years ago (covering the original series and KR2000) it doesn't mean they don't share the same distaste for Knight Rider.

While I agree that the Ford "product integration" is annoying but sadly that's the way things are now and I'm sure that's a big part as to why the interior is so stock. Where as 25 years ago Pontiac resented and took a very hands off approach with the original series until they asked them to stop referring to the car as a Trans-Am and that the cars would be destroyed at the end of the show's run. I'm sure that if Pontiac's deal with Universal was like what Ford apparently has then Knight Rider would have been significantly different too. Remember also, they had to actually buy the Hero car and the only reason Pontiac gave them other cars was because they couldn't be sold. Where as I don't believe they bought the car for this series where they really do have to cut corners everywhere they can to stay in budget which isn't all that high, things are certainly more expensive, beyond the rate of inflation. I'm also sure if the original series came out today and were able to use that car (as if it was just released) Pontiac would probably be involved as much as Ford.

Anyway, we've gone over this whole sponsorship issue a hundred times and at this point, no matter how much Ford's involvement is potentially hurting the show (I think the writing and certain creative choices is a bigger problem) it's also that involvement that's helping keep it alive and given more of a chance. Hopefully things will be improved a bit as time goes on and Ford realizes that it's still too much (like even they thought after seeing the TV movie) though it's still not as bad as the backdoor pilot, everyone knows it's a Mustang, there's no reason for it and Ford to be bashed into our heads. I'm sure that does more to turn off people than get them interested.


EDIT: Hmm, I just realized this probably should have been in the KR08 General Section... Oh well, you're new. ;)
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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by Shredder565 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:13 pm

Hello Hello,

My Bad. Been online since 93 and I still make simple mistakes. Mods, feel free to move if it hasn't been already :).

Regarding your points -

Ahh, OK. I thought it was the other way around. It makes a bit more sense that GM wouldn't have wanted him to be KITTs new voice.

As a kid, and a non car guy, I never really noticed it on the original 80's show. I was too busy trying to figure out how they got the car to drive itself, get up on two wheels without any wires, etc. Product Placement was also allot less blatant then. Like in Ghostbusters, you see a Can of coke in Dana's fridge, and Dan Aykroyd eating a box of Cheezeit for about 10-20 seconds, where it seemed natural. Now a days, in shows like Smallville, the Dell Monitor is almost like a character in the offices of the Daily Planet. They put it on screen for as long as possible, in as many shots as possible, and as close to the camera as possible ;)... We get the picture already, Dell gave you free Monitors to dress the set with :).

I guess I just grow tired of corporate Sponsorship these days and I hate to see it on KITT, hoping they'd tone it down even more. We'd still know what car it is, heh.

Add to that another wrinkle. I wonder if Ford ever dropped the show and it's second season was lost, could they go with another automaker for a second season? In that instance, the show could last for ever if each new season KITT changed to a different brand of car, hehe..

Oh, and on the writing front...I thought the Halloween episode was the most fun yet. It felt a bit more like the old show, to me at least. I'm glad though that they are going to ditch the 'military bad guy' of the week thing and go back to helping ordinary people again. Although I wish they'd keep Graiman around. He's a likable character.

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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by steventje » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:13 am

Sponsorship is not killing the show. The show itself is doing that.
I really love the KITT, it does not bother me if it is a Mustang instead of a Pontiac.
For my sake, they dress the whole crew in Versace Jeans and shoes, it won't make a difference.
What really kills the show has been said over and over again.

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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by cloudkitt » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:43 am

It is a little ridiculous the way it beats you over the head with it, but I don't think it's killing it. Like steven said, the show's doing a fine job of that on its own.

It does bug me that you can almost unfailingly tell which cars will be destroyed because they aren't Fords, and that's kinda dumb. The only other thing that's a problem about it is this redesigning the Mustang, the advantage to the old KITT not having any logos on him was that if they had changed the Trans Am, KR would have been completely unobliged to change KITT. Now they'll have to.

And ex812, there still weren't any logos on the hubcaps, just place where they went. And the show never mentioned the "PMD" seats nor did they say "Pontiac Motor Division" in fancy writing across the headrest. I never complained about the seats in the new show, but you can't say it's the same thing.
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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by Stealthwalker » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:09 pm

The sponsorship needs to be "toned down" quite dramatically, there are one too many overt/covert advertising for Ford products.
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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by pheonix_knight » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:42 pm

Shredder565 wrote:I know this ain't an old topic.....but hear me out on this one.

First: Almost every car that gets driven is a shiny new Ford.
Second: Ford apparently has the right to Veto casting decisions (Re:Voice of KITT)
Third: Ford most likely would not allow a competitor car on the show (KI2T)
Fourth: Logo's Everywhere ....

Regarding number 4, KI3T looks so much better in attack mode without that snake logo, or whatever it is Ford uses for the Mustang on the front grill. Get rid of the logo's on the seats. This is the day and age of the Internet. If someone wants to find out what car it is, it's easy enough to find out, even without the Ford Commercials in between the show. - Do we really need to return from an act break focusing on the Ford logo of an old Tractor Trailer?

Perfect solution? Do a 'KITT gets destroy' episode. Perfect excuse to have the car re-designed by an actual FAN of the original show, with a real DASH and features that make it look different than a production model car and have that cool factor the original did. Tone down the Hi-Tech ness of it all to boot. No Transforming into other FORD vehicles, for instance. Apparently the car company invests allot into Knight Industry Research to boot :).

Any other thoughts? :kitt:


As for your some of your bullet points, sorry but they need pulling apart

1) Most of the cars in the show ARE shiny Ford or vehicles made by Ford owned manufacturers but thats commonplace with most TV shows, they usually have one main vehicle supplier, just as KR82 had GM.

2) Ford didnt veto the casting choice for Kitt, GM did as the other guy was the v/o artist they use in their commercials

3) you could be right on that one but the bigger issue is whether or not William Daniels is willing/able or if he's even been approached yet. There wouldnt be much point in bulding a K3000 though if the original was still in active service, so in kr08 we may not necessarily see the two VEHICLES side by side anyway but both AIs could work together.

4) Theres no way I can pull your 4th point apart, you got me there. The ford logos are a little over the top but I believe they are in response to the change in viewing habits, particularly of key demographic KR08 is aimed at. People now have the option of digitally recording a show (TiVo, Sky+ etc...) then f-fwding through the ads or watching online via 'hulu etc'. Companies have responded to this shift by incorporating more blatant product placement WITHIN the show. (check out the interview with Ben Silverman that someone posted a link to for more info)

In response to the title of this thread, I'd say no it isnt. The cast are right (Bruening is great as MK jnr perfectly cast) the main standard car is right, the KITTCave is kind of good with the big turntable etc. So that unfortunately leaves the plot and direction the show has taken (so far) add in to that the lack of stunts and 'will they/wont they/who cares' sub plot of romance between SG and MK and we're closer to the mark.

I think the forthcoming retool will address a lot of this though....

I'll still be watching.

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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by Shredder565 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:25 pm

Regarding the stunts:

Does anyone think we'll see more old School Setups of the Turbo Boost, only done a tad more dramatically? They can edit out the ramp now, and the Mustang at least looks more durable than the KI2T Hero car was, as far as smashing into things or landings...

For instance, I noticed in one TB stunt airing on the original show....as KITT jumped, for some reason his headlights popped up mid jump and where closed again on landing :).. Much less to edit out with the Mustang if it was re-enforced a bit.

I agree on romance plot lines. It was cute in the original series with Bonnie and Mike because they used it as a throw away line. 5 seconds and boom, it was gone again. It seems romance is thrown into everything these days...maybe to attract a female audience?

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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by BlueChaos » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:05 pm

GST is what's killing the show.
Just look at the February pilot and "A Hard Days Knight" and you'll see what the show should be.
KITT driving himself to Michael's rescue and acting on his own rather than relying on Sarah or Billy to drive him.
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Re: Is Sponsorship part of what's killing this show?

Post by NeoRanger » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:27 pm

Just look at the February pilot and "A Hard Days Knight" and you'll see what the show should be.

What? One and a half hours of dead pace and exhausting Mustang close-ups? How would that NOT kill the show?

By the way, you do realize that A Hard Day's Knight is still GST's show, right? Teleplays get tons of rewrites and have to fall under the showrunner's demands on the direction of a show, before they're actually shot. Andron didn't just hand in a script, they shot it and rocked your world.

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