Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

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Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by pheonix_knight » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:32 pm

Ive recently rewatched the pilot episode of KR08 when its been shown in the uk on Fiver (uk freeview channel)

the pilot (in terms of character continuation) really made sense...

I appreciate there were financial and timescale constraints at the time so maybe Ki3t SHOULD have been 'turbo boosting' and 'Ski ing' but the plot was spot on....

Mike Traceur, from the pilot, would have been a great character to explore in a series. Not only that but it made sense that he was the way he was because of his lack of a father figure (we know who that was).

GST's direction of the series could STILL have carried on in real time (being 7 months later, with Ki3t's updates) but Mikes first episode (and the transition to Michael Knight) could have been much better explained if it had been a gambling debt that Traceur had built up or something...

It was ridiculous to suggest that a DNA sensing missile would be put off by a name change...

Am I wrong for thinking the pilot made sense as a continuation, storywise but that financial constraints made it less spectactular than it deserved?

(can i make a request for some KI3T icons too...#???)

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Garthe Knight » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:49 am

I second that. The pilot was good, considering that there was the writer strike at that time. And budget and time were the reason we didn't see turbo boost or other stunts besides the crash into the 4x4.
But the bottom line is, the pilot was a good place to start off Knight Rider.

In my opinioni GST screwed it by "transforming" (heh, nice allusion) the show into a poor Fast and Furious rip off.
Only when NBC realized this was going into the wrong direction and they forced him to the retooling the show got back on track. Sadly it was too late.

So to answer the question: yes, GST was bad for KR.

But this is always the problem today. Noone wants to make anything good, they always want to make it better and (which is worse) cooler. That's why it often ends way over the top and everyone thinks it's ridiculous.

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Super Flash » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:02 am

Hello There Everyone, :D

I will never understand why we are still still harping on Gary Scott Thomsom here? I will admit he is not perfect and could have done a better job with the show. Yes, the pilot was great and that should have carried over to the series but, Knight Rider problems were not limited to Gary here. NBC is the big blaim on this. First the show is scheduled to go up against American Idol and Lost and second NBC did little to promote the show. Knight Rider was pre-empted alot for the president and the holidays and did little to let the audience know when the show will be back on.

For example, I watch USA Network one of the many channels under the NBC-Universal Umbrella and I have seen them promote The Jay Leno and now Community during WWE Monday Night Raw. Heck, if NBC did that kind of backing for Knight Rider the show would be on right now instead of in limbo or cancelled. I never once show a commercial for Knight Rider in 2008 or earlier this year on USA Network and I watch that channel alot.

The bottom line is this and that NBC was at fault for Knight Rider demise then Gary Scott Thomson was. I feel that Knight Rider would have suceeded had NBC backed the show better and Gary stayed true to the show's roots. The episodes themselves are not bad but, could have been better and more of a tie in to the other cast members from the original show like what is Bonnie upto and what happened to RC III? That would have been nice to know.

So, the show had more going on then Gary Scott Thomson vision of the show. I am not defending him here just pointing out that Knight Rider had more problems then Gary Scott Thomson's involvement.

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by pheonix_knight » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:29 am

My perspective on it is from outside of the US so my original post was purely on the merits of the show itself, not its scheduling in the home market, although I agree I'm sure that didnt help.

Thinking about it though, in this day and age of 'TV on demand' and online download services why would the original TV airing matter? Do NBC not look at the downloads (official of course) in terms of viewership too??

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by KRShelby » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:30 am

I remember that KR generally was doing quite well online, so I have to think that NBC did not.

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by tamatt27 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:12 am

I think a lot of credit should go to Dave Andron instead of placing blame on GST. Dave Andron created these characters and the premise for KR08 and filmed a good pilot.
GST was brought on board and took over characters he didn't create. For the most part, however, the direction he took the show didn't fit the KR universe or the character's that were already created and established by the pilot. The direction differences between Andron and GST are evident by the few episodes that Andron produced.
Fly by Knight was one of my favorite episodes of KR08 because it 'felt' like Knight Rider. I attribute this, mostly, because Dave Andron was behind the wheel for this episode. Compare this episode to Knight in Shining Armor and their creative differences are evident.
You can't really blame NBC for not promoting KR because they realized that it wasn't going in the direction they thought it should go before the mid-season.
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Solid Snake » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:59 am

I think that yes we can blame NBC to a certain extent.

For several reasons. 1.: They hired the showrunner in the first place. 2.: They give the green lights to the production of the episodes, you'd think there would be some quality control or reading of the scripts from their side. 3.: They could have said, "ehmm one second people, this is not going where we would like" a bit sooner than in the final quarter of the season. But at least they did see that it needed to go back where it came from more or less... one man and his car (sort of pilot ish)... just a bit to late.
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Scott Kirkessner » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:09 am

I am on two sides of the fence here.

I watched the NBC pilot when I got my DVD set - I remembered how much I enjoyed it and how different it was and felt in comparison to the actual series that premiered in September. To be honest, I have not watched the actual series episodes in my DVD set yet. Everything felt lackluster after the pilot.

We can blame GST - he was the showrunner, he had creative control to an extent, he made (or approved) changes to two established canons (the actual original series, and the pilot), and we got a show that was flashy, sometimes entertaining and sometimes inconsistent.

And then we can blame NBC (who I blame more). NBC gave up on the show early on, after they spent tons of time promoting the pilot which had amazing overnights and ratings, and then when the series started and got lackluster (not terrible) ratings, they abandoned it. That led to fan and casual viewer abandonment. We can be lucky that NBC didn't try to bury the show on a crappy timeslot or cancel it with unaired episodes... I speculate that some backroom deal was hashed out to allow the entire season to run.

And NBC did greenlight the changes, we all know how involved networks are with studios these days. Studios own networks, or networks own studios. There isn't independence anymore (like when ER was produced by Warner Bros but aired on NBC).

The changes to the things didn't go over well with any of us. My friend who is a casual fan loved the KARR episode, but to die hard fans like us, we were left confused and underwhelmed. We had good effects (which in turn, ate up the budget for decent effects in later episodes), but it was lacking a story.

And then NBC shifted episodes around. They must have known they were gonna cancel the show because they left us with an ER/Quantum Leap/Magnum PI style ending where they invite the viewer to pretend and imagine that while we can't watch our heroes every week, we know they are still out there.

At least it didn't end like Newhart and St.Elsewhere.

The final nail in the coffin for me was the DVD release. There was no BluRay and the extras suck. In fact...its practically a release of the pilot movie and the episodes themselves are the extras. There are more extras and features about the series itself localized on KRO than the DVD. That was a clear wake up call to all of us that NBC simply burned the show off, tossed out a DVD and called it quits.

It's a sad ending, but at least we had our Knight Rider back for awhile

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by blowersho » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:08 pm

GST aka the troll looked through his Fast&Furious glasses and envisioned a KR show where KITT looks like a drag machine and acts like a little kid for half the show and the rest of the time hotties are jiggling around talking nonsense.This is the polar opposite of what a KR show should be about, give us some substance and some real characters not a bunch of drones with weak dialogue.

Personally I have always thought that if KITT returned to the small or big screen he should be more menacing to be taken seriously as a character. He should be more forceful almost KARRish in attitude but still the benevolent hero.So the answer is yes, GST was possibly the worst person that could have been put in charge of KR.

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by whet » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:47 pm

Well personaly i never like GST.
He screwed up any chance Knight Rider had..
And I think that will be it's final chance..
We won't be seeing anymore KR in our lifetimes thanks to GST.

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Michael Pajaro » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:47 pm

I think many things were out of GST's hands. I don't believe we saw the Knight Rider that he wanted to make.

Let's compare Knight Rider to other projects he's done. The Fast & The Furious is a great "car movie"; did Knight Rider look anything like F&F? No.

OK, maybe that's not fair since a movie has such a larger budget than a TV show. What about Las Vegas? That was a slick-looking show with a lot of characters and well-coordinated storylines. Did Knight Rider look anything like Las Vegas? No.

What kind of things did GST tell us he wanted to do with the series? He wanted to explore Mike's past and really get into the character. Did that happen? No. (Which is a shame, because that REALLY would have helped the KARR episode.) GST wanted to have KITT slowly evolve over the season. Did that happen? Only slightly. In one of his interviews with KRO he said that one of the problems with the 2-hour movie is that the chase scenes didn't look very fast (I totally agree.) He said something like "telephone poles should be flashing by like fence posts." Did we see many super high-speed chases like that? No.

So we have a show that doesn't look like GST's movies, doesn't look like GST's TV shows, and doesn't have the things that GST said he wanted to put into it.

Call me crazy, but it doesn't sound like GST is the one to be blamed here.
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by DevonStyles » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:50 pm

Knight rider can and will be back in one shape or another. The franchise is to big to die off forever. A few more years.... :lol: we will forget about the knight rider nbc gave us. We will forget about the mustang kitt. They will be another crop of kids who have never heard of knight rider and it will once again be a thrilling concept that we will all explore.
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by tamatt27 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:21 pm

Michael Pajaro wrote:I think many things were out of GST's hands. I don't believe we saw the Knight Rider that he wanted to make.

Let's compare Knight Rider to other projects he's done. The Fast & The Furious is a great "car movie"; did Knight Rider look anything like F&F? No.

I'm going to have to disagree here. There were many F&F elements throughout the show. Namely Attack Mode being the most visible one. The neon lights in the front and underside as well as the HUGE rear wing and lambo doors. Those elements are 'type-cast' to the 'ricer' crowd...which is what F&F was. I don't disagree that F&F was a car movie, I enjoyed it. There was no doubt, in my mind, though that Attack Mode was meant to be modeled after the Charger and Supra.
Michael Pajaro wrote:OK, maybe that's not fair since a movie has such a larger budget than a TV show. What about Las Vegas? That was a slick-looking show with a lot of characters and well-coordinated storylines. Did Knight Rider look anything like Las Vegas? No.

After watching some of Las Vegas, the film shooting and scene cutting are largely carried over to KR. I don't see this as a bad thing, because it tends to keep the pace up with quick scene transitions. Not something big that carried over from LV, however it is something I noticed.
Michael Pajaro wrote:What kind of things did GST tell us he wanted to do with the series? He wanted to explore Mike's past and really get into the character. Did that happen? No. (Which is a shame, because that REALLY would have helped the KARR episode.) GST wanted to have KITT slowly evolve over the season. Did that happen? Only slightly.

I agree here. Delving into Mike's past would've been a huge help in making sense of Knight to King's Pawn!
I noticed KITT's evolution through the series. Granted, it could've gone much farther into, even, KITT thinking for himself and going rogue KARR-ish on a quest to find out the meaning of his existence.
Michael Pajaro wrote: In one of his interviews with KRO he said that one of the problems with the 2-hour movie is that the chase scenes didn't look very fast (I totally agree.) He said something like "telephone poles should be flashing by like fence posts." Did we see many super high-speed chases like that? No.

The constant green screen action throughout the series made most of the car chases unbelievable. The pilot, atleast, had real car chases and much less green screen.
Michael Pajaro wrote:So we have a show that doesn't look like GST's movies, doesn't look like GST's TV shows, and doesn't have the things that GST said he wanted to put into it.

Call me crazy, but it doesn't sound like GST is the one to be blamed here.

I'd say GST is the one who should take credit for the show's, obvious, lack of real direction and deviation of the KR lineage. Although, I'm hesitant to place 'blame' for the show's failed success it's obvious that his 'control' over the show was a mistake. Hindsight's 20-20 though. I do credit him for bringing us some form of Knight Rider to add to our collection. :wink:
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Michael Pajaro » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:48 pm

People didn't like the green screen effects. Do we blame GST, or NBC for not giving the budget to do more live stunts?

People didn't like the product placement. Do we blame GST, or the NBC/Ford relationship? Do we really believe that it was GST's idea to have KITT transform into Ford's latest SUV?

My point is that regardless of who they put in the driver's seat (pun intended), be it GST or Jerry Bruckheimer or Glen Larson, I think we would have run into the same issues because they were being mandated by the network.
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Knight007 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:21 am

Michael Pajaro wrote:People didn't like the green screen effects. Do we blame GST, or NBC for not giving the budget to do more live stunts?

People didn't like the product placement. Do we blame GST, or the NBC/Ford relationship? Do we really believe that it was GST's idea to have KITT transform into Ford's latest SUV?

My point is that regardless of who they put in the driver's seat (pun intended), be it GST or Jerry Bruckheimer or Glen Larson, I think we would have run into the same issues because they were being mandated by the network.

if I may, and if I understood what you are saying, then NBC doesnt know what they want!!!!
I mean THEY made the pilot, and THEY made the show, and THEY brought GST to run it, and then THEY contrloed every thing in the show untill THEY have killed it?!!!??
why would they do that???? I mean I live out side the US. did such a thing happen before for other shows? and why you think NBC did bring Knight Rider back if they want to cancell it??? :kitt: :karr:

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Knight-Armen » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:43 am

The things I've said in the past is being repeated in this thread, which is good! I think it's important that people know why the show lacked quality and who to blame for that. People say GST and yes I agree, but what about NBC? Probably, but certainly not for the lack of promotion becasue they promoted the hell out of the series (at first) which should have triggered a bomb big enough to make viewers aware of the show until they canned it, crashed it and made mashed potatoes out of it!
And yes, somewhere in late December and early January during the presidential elections Knight Rider faded away but that was not due to lack of promotion. People didn't tune in because they just had it with the series! How many epsiodes am I bound to watch before the pieces are starting to fall together. When am I going to see some live action stunts and when are they going to stop placing the camera so up tight when filming Justin inside Kitt?
The reality is people give up after 3 or 4 episodes but the retooling began after the new year which again wasn't immediate but took another 2 or 3 episodes to carry out. By the time the retooling was done (still not anywhere near perfect and in some cases worse) the viewers were long gone and had already thrown in the towel.

I keep saying DH but you guys keep stressing the fact that he's too old for this show but I would beg the differ! Yes he's pushing 50+ but his presence would probably cover up most of the "crap parts" of KR. He doesn't have to run around girls in bikinis acting like he's 25 but please add some more maturity and seriousness to the show and you wouldn't have a problem with an actor pushing 50 trying to save the world. Hell, even Tommy Lee Jones and Clint Eastwood are still doing action flicks with way much kissing and running you will ever see with all KR episodes combined. If only they could have used DH instead of Justin it would have made the show that much better than it is right now. I for one think he looks really handsome at the funeral, but that's just me...
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by whet » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:48 am

Well if i may..
Just remember that GST as far as I am aware has never commented about Knight RIder being canceled, he just seems to have washed his hands of to me..

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Solid Snake » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:29 am

I think both NBC and GST have a big play in it. NBC failed to give the show a proper direction and ways to develop by green lighting a show which in my honest opinion was Fast and the Furious made for TV (before the reboot), the show had to much focus on things that are NOT important to KR... like to much skin, over the top bad guys which in a way were a comedic caricature of a bad guy... The original KR especially seasons 3 and 4 had some very over the top bad guys, but they had character and presence, most of the new bad guys did not... the odd one was really good however, just terribly under developed (due to many reasons most likely).

Of course you can not blame it all on GST, and yes NBC needs to be blamed for it just as much if not more... just saying they both were... let us say... "unfortunate" in putting their ideas on the table and actually making them come true.

As for the David Hasselhoff comment, he would not work as the main hero any more... he would however work nicely as a supporting character of a new hero (Justin) in my opinion. What I however think he should do... is "buy" the series rights. You can not tell me that NBC would not be interested in a Knight Rider show which would actually work... and well with the Hasselhoff name tied to it as a producer or something, it would only in name already have more appeal.
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by whet » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:45 am

I never had a problem with Justin being the lead role, I thought he was a good choice.
Neither did i ave a problem with the Mustang and Val Kilmer as the voice of Kitt.
What i really hated was the lack of attention on Micheal and Kitt..
That in my view is what killed Knight Rider..

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by tamatt27 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:11 am

Michael Pajaro wrote:People didn't like the green screen effects. Do we blame GST, or NBC for not giving the budget to do more live stunts?

People didn't like the product placement. Do we blame GST, or the NBC/Ford relationship? Do we really believe that it was GST's idea to have KITT transform into Ford's latest SUV?

My point is that regardless of who they put in the driver's seat (pun intended), be it GST or Jerry Bruckheimer or Glen Larson, I think we would have run into the same issues because they were being mandated by the network.

From my understanding, Ford was one of the biggest backers to bring Knight Rider back. I do agree that the product placement was a little annoying, but for different reasons. I found it hard to believe that a Ford Edge could keep up with the Knight 3000 during a chase.
If Jerry Bruckheimer or Glen Larson would've been put in charge of the series instead of GST, I think our chances of having a 'good' quality show would've improved greatly.
CSI and NCIS have product placement deals with GM and Chrysler, respectively, and it's hardly noticeable. Granted those shows aren't about cars. With the right direction and leadership, Knight Rider could've (and can still be) a success.
On the DH note, I think if he had any more than a supporting role, he would've been more of a parody of himself than anything. I respect the man, but he has a Shatner-like quality.
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Shapeshifter » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:00 am

GST was considered a good choice in the eyes of the studio execs. He had the track record, and they owed him one after the Vegas fiasco. But ultimately, I don't think he was a good choice for the franchise.

He was full of promises at the onset, as Mike has alluded to. And I DO think that he was thwarted by the NBC execs to a certain extent. But, a lot of what he had to say initially amounted to, "the pilot sucked, I'm going to do something different". And a lot of this 'change for the sake of change' ended up being unwarrented and unneccessary.

Also, I think there's a factor here of 'too many cooks". I know Andron experienced this in the production of the pilot--on one hand, Silverman was telling him to 'make it bigger', on the other hand the line producer and money guys are telling him 'we can't afford to shoot that'. So, whoever was at the helm of this series was going to be subjected to a lot of (sometimes conflicting) edicts from the studio and network. But, I know that GST had a large budget, at least in TV land, for his series premiere, and I think for the most part he squandered it (I know Mike and I disagree on this.)

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Michael Pajaro » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:29 pm

Shapeshifter wrote: I know that GST had a large budget, at least in TV land, for his series premiere, and I think for the most part he squandered it (I know Mike and I disagree on this.)


You're wrong... we don't disagree. :)

I don't know any of the details about the budget so I can't really put up too much of debate. Although I will say I thought GST's premiere episode was absolutely fantastic by ALL Knight Rider standards. First 20 minutes? Brilliant.

"Squandered" may be a strong word, but I will go along with the idea that a lot of the money could have been spent better. I think they could have spent less money on the KITT cave and instead rebuilt the remote-controlled KITT and the "roof-cage driver" KITT. The Auto Cruise scenes in the 2-hour movie were the best KITT-driving shots in the entire franchise.
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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Shapeshifter » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:48 pm

Michael Pajaro wrote:
Shapeshifter wrote: I know that GST had a large budget, at least in TV land, for his series premiere, and I think for the most part he squandered it (I know Mike and I disagree on this.)


You're wrong... we don't disagree. :)

I don't know any of the details about the budget so I can't really put up too much of debate. Although I will say I thought GST's premiere episode was absolutely fantastic by ALL Knight Rider standards. First 20 minutes? Brilliant.

"Squandered" may be a strong word, but I will go along with the idea that a lot of the money could have been spent better. I think they could have spent less money on the KITT cave and instead rebuilt the remote-controlled KITT and the "roof-cage driver" KITT. The Auto Cruise scenes in the 2-hour movie were the best KITT-driving shots in the entire franchise.


I think I got a little too cute with my remarks.

I really wasn't saying that the money he spent didn't end up on the screen. What I was saying was that I didn't think the episode was all that good; and could have been better given the budget they had. I understand that it's my opinion, and my personal knowledge of some of the players could affect my judgement, but anyway, that's what I meant when I used the word 'squandered'.

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by WIBoomer1 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:23 pm

Mike, The main thing that really doomed this KR version, just like it did TKR, was instead of focusing on the 2 main characters, Michael Knight and KITT, we got a team show. Instead of focusing on how these 2 characters interact with different situations of righting the wrongs of normal everyday people going against criminals who operate above the law, untouchable, we got terrorist of the week shows, where the playing fields were almost level.

Was there any reason to root for Michael and KI3T? Did we as an audience feel any connection with these new characters? You could see chemistry between the actors, but what were we hoping for?

Andron's pilot was closer to the mark. The last 5 episodes were closer to the mark. The middle 12 were the problem, and GST was in charge. The transforming into every Ford car, that was a problem. The pilot's attack mode was closer to the mark than the series'. But it wasn't needed, really. The green screen stuff, economics is the big part that plays with that. Who's going to finance having a bunch of cars that would eventually be destroyed by the forces of whatever jump/collision/stunt that the episode called for. The digital effects were the only way to go, to keep things under budget. Speaking of budget, it'd go right out the door if you had DH come in. If NBC offered part ownership to him in return for a Devon-like role, then it'd make sense. But is this something that DH wants? We all know he's proud of KR, and acknowledges that without KR, who knows what he'd be doing.

In my book, GST as the showrunner was bad for KR. Sure the network had control over him, but because of the ratings he brought in, they had no other choice but to salvage what they could from their investment, to at least hav ethe DVD set make some money back for them.

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Re: Controversial but was GST bad for KR???

Post by Solid Snake » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:38 am

tamatt27 wrote:
Michael Pajaro wrote:People didn't like the green screen effects. Do we blame GST, or NBC for not giving the budget to do more live stunts?

People didn't like the product placement. Do we blame GST, or the NBC/Ford relationship? Do we really believe that it was GST's idea to have KITT transform into Ford's latest SUV?

My point is that regardless of who they put in the driver's seat (pun intended), be it GST or Jerry Bruckheimer or Glen Larson, I think we would have run into the same issues because they were being mandated by the network.

From my understanding, Ford was one of the biggest backers to bring Knight Rider back. I do agree that the product placement was a little annoying, but for different reasons. I found it hard to believe that a Ford Edge could keep up with the Knight 3000 during a chase.
If Jerry Bruckheimer or Glen Larson would've been put in charge of the series instead of GST, I think our chances of having a 'good' quality show would've improved greatly.
CSI and NCIS have product placement deals with GM and Chrysler, respectively, and it's hardly noticeable. Granted those shows aren't about cars. With the right direction and leadership, Knight Rider could've (and can still be) a success.
On the DH note, I think if he had any more than a supporting role, he would've been more of a parody of himself than anything. I respect the man, but he has a Shatner-like quality.


I hate that point when people bring it up, about the 3000 and the Edge. In virtually every single episode of the original show KITT was chasing a normal car too... and also has had more than a handful to keep up with it... the countless big sedans like Cadillacs and Lincolns that were chased by KITT were all giving TOS KITT a run for its money... to make the action look good and tight on screen. So... the same argument applies to the original.

I think it is safe to say however in "conclusion" that Andron would have been the better and more interesting choice to spearhead the new show, compared to what we have gotten.
Knight Rider, powered by Ford!

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