Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

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Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by K2000kid » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:10 pm

Didnt Knight Rider basiclly help sell/advertise the 3rd generation TA's
all I know is Pontiac asked them to not call the car a Trans Am
hence they started calling it a black T-top after the pilot episode

but why did things go sour between Universal Studios and Pontiac
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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by Faithful Car KRO » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:15 pm

Could have something to do with all the Darwin award winners who did stupid stuff with their trans-ams....
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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by GT500KR » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:20 am

People were asking for a the Knight rider Edition Trans-Am at dealers, so i think Pontiac got tired of that
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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by bige » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:34 am

They do not make the trans ams/t-tops anymore

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by R.I.T.T. » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:49 am

GT500KR wrote:People were asking for a the Knight rider Edition Trans-Am at dealers, so i think Pontiac got tired of that


If my cars would be used in a popular tv show I would make a special TV show edition of it to make some money on it too.

Although some people probably would believe there car is indestructable then...
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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by Mr.Marcus » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:35 am

There was no abandonment. People are making this into a big issue when its not. In TOS GM simply asked NBC to stop calling the car a Tans Am b/c customers kept coming in asking for the KR version of the Trans Am. It wasn't a trim model GM made. But they continued to supply cars for TOS so it was just a request to NBC that did not impact their deal. For KR08 the producers went to GM first and asked if they had a Trans Am. GM said no. Then they asked if they could use the Camaro. GM refused. So they went to Ford. There was no abandonment or backstabbing deals. GM actually had a product placement deal this past season with NBC and their cars were featured on other NBC programs. So there was no drama b/w GM and NBC that supposedly affected KR. It was just a matter of 1) No Trans Am being made right now and 2) GM's refusal to let the show use the Camaro.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by MR2NR » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:52 am

I know I go into every Ford dealership and ask them when the mustang GT KITT version is going to be available :). I don't know why car companies don't profit from this I mean heck they are using Microsoft's logo with Sync...I'm thinking that maybe wasn't such a good idea now after Vista :). I guess they think if they didn't think of it it's no good. I bet more and more young people assume that KR on GT500KR is for Knight Rider when Carol Shelby will tell you otherwise :). At least Ford let us get away with that :).

Mr. Marcus why did GM let Worst enemy have the Camaro and not Knight Rider then?

I really think that the car companies don't really care about the series their cars are featured in just how many commercials can we get out of it CHEAP!!! Ford never advertised the 09 Mustang when KR started (except for when KITT was in the Sync commercials during the pilot but they was "Focused" on Sync more than anything and had Justin driving the Focus) and then flipped past the 09's for the 2010 Mustangs. They just want to use the networks to sell as many cars as possible without having to do more work by adding KITT options :). The domestic car market is lazy and sucked dry by fat CEO's and shareholders.
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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by K2000kid » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:43 pm

I guess I'm assuming there was bad blood between GM and Knight Rider
since they did not want the Camaro associated with the show
if GM was in good terms with NBC anyway why did they refuse to
allow the use of a Camaro for for Knight Rider
Bonehead move by GM if you ask me
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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by RafaelLOJ » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:00 pm

No bad blood.. Mostly liability... I think I read something in VK's book about some guys jumping a car and stuff... There were people asking about that model and stuff at dealerships....

As for the new show, I read GM was first asked by NBC, but declined because "those are big shoes to fill".

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by Mr.Marcus » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:11 pm

MR2NR wrote:Mr. Marcus why did GM let Worst enemy have the Camaro and not Knight Rider then?


Could be anything. Most likely had to do with the allotment of cars. The Camaro has yet to be released. I believe mass production begins this spring which is well after the period when the KR producers needed them which was winter 07 for the Pilot film.

When you have a mass production of cars the cost is spread out. But prototype models cost a lot of money b/c the cost in building one is not spread out. So GM would have had to supply prototype Camaros for KR since they have yet to start production. KR needs a decent allotment of cars b/c KITT goes through all sorts of stunts, modifications, etc. Worst Enemy may feature the car in a scene or two. That's a big difference in terms of car allotment. What most likely happened is NBC had a fixed budget for the cars and GM wanted more money per car since they were prototype Camaros and an agreement couldn't be reached. So they went to Ford which has been mass producing the Mustangs for a while now.

For TOS Larson explains in the commentary that the Trans Ams they were given initially were the first 2 that rolled off the production line. So Pontiac had begun mass production of the 82 Trans Am when TOS was being developed.

The question is if there was a fallout/animosity b/c GM and NBC, then why would they supply cars to Worst Enemy? That sounds nonsensical. If anything GM would want no deals with NBC at all.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by Mr.Marcus » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:32 pm

RafaelLOJ wrote:No bad blood.. Mostly liability... I think I read something in VK's book about some guys jumping a car and stuff... There were people asking about that model and stuff at dealerships....

As for the new show, I read GM was first asked by NBC, but declined because "those are big shoes to fill".

Raf


That makes no sense. You need causation for liability. If someone was jumping a Trans Am and getting injured or injuring others or causing property damage, they would be the intervening force of negligence. GM can't be held responsible b/c there's no proximate causation. Its legally unforeseeable that a regular customer would use the Trans Am in a jump and this would free GM from any liability. Do you have the exact source? I'd like to read what this person wrote.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by KITT Season 4 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:26 pm

Some idiot was jumping trains with his "KnightRider Edition" Trans-Am (I read this somewhere, forgot where, not VK's book), making Pontiac discontinue the Knightrider Edition Trans-Am. And it was over demanded

I'm a little late one the whole "asking for the Camaro" thing. Anyone got a link?
EDIT: Now I remember, http://www.knightriderarchive.com

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by the original KITT » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:36 pm

Mr.Marcus wrote:For KR08 the producers went to GM first and asked if they had a Trans Am. GM said no. Then they asked if they could use the Camaro. GM refused. So they went to Ford. There was no abandonment or backstabbing deals. GM actually had a product placement deal this past season with NBC and their cars were featured on other NBC programs. So there was no drama b/w GM and NBC that supposedly affected KR. It was just a matter of 1) No Trans Am being made right now and 2) GM's refusal to let the show use the Camaro.


But y did camaro say no?? They do look very similar to Pontiacs. I.e

Are Pontiac and Chevrolet the same company (are they merged into 1) cos the 1982 Camaro looks very similar to KI2T/1982 firebird (look at the wing mirrors, doors, the overall shape of the car, there identical!

:?

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by vampire knight » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:58 pm

Probably because of a conflict of interest.

GM was already doing Transformers and the sequel. They may have declined because the new KITT was going to be transforming in one way or another and that might steal some thunder from Bumblebee.

Also the deal with "My Own Worst Enemy" may have already been in the works and they thought it best not to have two NBC shows with one car. It's all speculation of course.

Raf does bring up an interesting point, maybe they thought they could never live up to the original KITT, it's shoes were to big to fill with any car in their current line up. I certainly believe the new KI3T hasn't filled them by a long shot either, so it's a possible angle.

Of course obviously Pontiac has no Firebird in their current line up, nor are they planning on, in fact Pontiac may soon disappear all together. So it would make sense also that GM didn't wan to participate without a Firebird. It's also unrealistic for a brand new show to use a car no longer made when we're talking about the most advanced car that exists (something a 4 year old Mustang body style didn't really fit either).

Oh and yes the original kitt GM owns both Pontiac and Chevrolet and yes the Camaro and Firebird are platform mates known as F-Bodies with very similar designs in the 4 generations they existed.

I also don't believe the relationship with GM and Universal soured. They continued to supply cars for the show through out it's 4 year run. They didn't need a KITT trim for Firebirds to be selling, I think the public were smart enough to know. I also can't imagine the vast population of Firebird owners asking their local Pontiac dealers for the KITT model, I'm sure it was just a highly publicized few.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by the original KITT » Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:20 pm

vampire knight wrote:
Oh and yes the original kitt GM owns both Pontiac and Chevrolet and yes the Camaro and Firebird are platform mates known as F-Bodies with very similar designs in the 4 generations they existed.


Thanks 4 clearing that up. Thought so.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by K2000kid » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:28 pm

I also read somewhere that in the beginning Pontiac donated 32 Trans Ams
to the show after a train derailed on its way to a dealership

I'm Not sure how many Mustangs Ford donated but being Shelby's
I doubt more than three, might explain why they don't drive them too hard
who wants to be the driver denting an $80,000 car. Ouch!!!
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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by vampire knight » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:19 pm

Not all of them are real Shelby's...I think only one was used. It doesn't make sense to donate a car with a limited run at that price tag. I read somewhere they even used a V6 at one point, it's Hollywood, they'll do it as cheap as they can.


As for the original series. Yeah often times they'd use cars that had water damage or some factory defect, I've heard the derailed story too. They'd get called up when something like that would happen since otherwise the cars would be sent to the crusher.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by Victor Kros » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:55 pm

KITT Season 4 wrote:Some idiot was jumping trains with his "KnightRider Edition" Trans-Am (I read this somewhere, forgot where, not VK's book), making Pontiac discontinue the Knightrider Edition Trans-Am. And it was over demanded

I'm a little late one the whole "asking for the Camaro" thing. Anyone got a link?
EDIT: Now I remember, http://www.knightriderarchive.com


- Actually Glen goes into more detail about it in my book and I will be kind enough to reprint it here for people to see which is from Glen's Q&A on page 9 in The Knight Rider Companion.

Is it true that there were talks to release a version of K.I.T.T. during the 1st season?

Glen A. Larson - "General Motors was so impressed and thrilled with the kind of coverage they were getting prepared to release a model of the Pontiac that was the Knight Rider car. Some guy in New Orleans got an idea to jump a
train with the car he had and the General Motors board got to thinking there would be more liability on having this on the road then not so it stopped there."


How did you acquire all the Pontiacs for the show?

Glen A. Larson - "I went to the Vista Group, who represented GM, and they were immediately excited about it. They decided to take the first couple of cars right off the assembly line and donated them to the show for us. They were cars that were bought and on their way to dealers, and they had to sort of fib a bit because they were not ours.. We were also lucky that a train wreck of 32 cars derailed en route to the dealerships."

"The cars were in pristine condition with only a few of those cars having been bent or nicked up in the accident. GM said that the cars were in too good of shape to just crush and they donated them to us. They called me at Fox and told me we could have them under the condition that they would never be licensed for use on the road and that when we were done with them, they would be crushed. I gave half to Knight Rider, and kept the other half for The Fall Guy to use as stunt cars and cars I could bash in. As you probably know, we were very hard on automobiles."


Pontiac donated 32 Trans Ams due to a train derailment, this is true but they also allowed Universal to continue to purchase slightly damaged cars for $1.00 each for the rest of the series production as part of the agreement to destroy all the cars once the series finished shooting the final episode.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by Victor Kros » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:22 pm

Mr.Marcus wrote:There was no abandonment. People are making this into a big issue when its not. In TOS GM simply asked NBC to stop calling the car a Tans Am b/c customers kept coming in asking for the KR version of the Trans Am. It wasn't a trim model GM made. But they continued to supply cars for TOS so it was just a request to NBC that did not impact their deal. For KR08 the producers went to GM first and asked if they had a Trans Am. GM said no. Then they asked if they could use the Camaro. GM refused. So they went to Ford. There was no abandonment or backstabbing deals. GM actually had a product placement deal this past season with NBC and their cars were featured on other NBC programs. So there was no drama b/w GM and NBC that supposedly affected KR. It was just a matter of 1) No Trans Am being made right now and 2) GM's refusal to let the show use the Camaro.


- As I understand it, none of this is true about NBCU going to GM and complaining to them about "not having a Trans Am" nor did GM say, "You can't have the camaro". Let's seperate the facts from the speculation here. The fact of the matter is Ford made the better offer. GM didn't refuse anything with the series, in fact they were the first to put in a bid to use their products in the backdoor pilot but in the end Ford's offer was more promising to NBCU and they won the contract. This is not uncommon to make bids for a project in business, especially in Hollywood.

Believe me, I know. I have been following the production of the backdoor pilot since the first script was written and I have been "in the know" about its production for quite some time given that the Larson camp had invested interest in knowing what NBCU was up to at the time. You can choose to believe me or not, that's up to you to decide.

As far as the concept camaro - yes its likeness is tied up by Dreamworks and Paramount for Transformers (all 3 movies) but there is a distinction with product placements between television and motion pictures. This is why My Own Worst Enemy was able to license the car for television and not create any "conflict of interest" with motion pictures.

It's all about money and making the deals for rights, It has little to do with a lack of a particular model.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by 1982 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:47 am

Victor Kros wrote:- Actually Glen goes into more detail about it in my book and I will be kind enough to reprint it here for people to see which is from Glen's Q&A on page 9 in The Knight Rider Companion.

Is it true that there were talks to release a version of K.I.T.T. during the 1st season?

Glen A. Larson - "General Motors was so impressed and thrilled with the kind of coverage they were getting prepared to release a model of the Pontiac that was the Knight Rider car. Some guy in New Orleans got an idea to jump a
train with the car he had and the General Motors board got to thinking there would be more liability on having this on the road then not so it stopped there."


Interesting notes:

Pontiac Sales Information Bulletin 83-13 March 2, 1983, "Pontiac Engineers Produce Trans Am "Special" uses Knight Rider in promoting their 1983 Special Edition Recaro Trans Am. (Hardly a falling out between KR and GM)

If there was to have been a "Knight Rider" model produced, the seats had already been listed as "discontinued" by GM by the time of the first episode aired, and the 15" rims half way through 83 production.

There was a specially built Tran Am demonstrated to NBC summer of 83 that could perform the turbo boost stunts better than what they used. Specially built frame, chassis, and suspension, specially built seats and restraint, easier balancing as not to nosedive as seen constantly. In other words, it was built to survive as well as being more merciful on the driver. NBC showed interest, but that is as far as it went. The car went on to various stunt shows.


Victor Kros wrote:How did you acquire all the Pontiacs for the show?

Glen A. Larson - [i]"I went to the Vista Group, who represented GM, and they were immediately excited about it. They decided to take the first couple of cars right off the assembly line and donated them to the show for us. They were cars that were bought and on their way to dealers, and they had to sort of fib a bit because they were not ours..


To clarify this statement: The first couple of cars used for the show were not the first cars off the assembly line (as in the first Trans Am's produced).

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by Victor Kros » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:06 am

To clarify this statement: The first couple of cars used for the show were not the first cars off the assembly line (as in the first Trans Am's produced).


- Yes they were the first cars off the production line, the 1982 versions of the Trans Am that were not yet released to the public. Glen was infinately impressed by the look of the Trans Am from the start and never considered any other car. He told the Vista Group to get him the car which was NOT availible to the public at the time it was shown to him. Glen was unable to get this model of Trans Am until it started being produced on the assembly line. Pontiac did provide him the first two or three off the line. If you really want to disagree with Glen, the man who created Knight Rider and its Pilot in the first place that's your decision but I would take his word over yours.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by K2000kid » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:09 am

wow i have to get that book
Theres no reason for increased volume, I'm scanning your interogitives quite satisfactorilly.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by 1982 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:11 pm

Victor Kros wrote:
To clarify this statement: The first couple of cars used for the show were not the first cars off the assembly line (as in the first Trans Am's produced).


- Yes they were the first cars off the production line, the 1982 versions of the Trans Am that were not yet released to the public. Glen was infinately impressed by the look of the Trans Am from the start and never considered any other car. He told the Vista Group to get him the car which was NOT availible to the public at the time it was shown to him. Glen was unable to get this model of Trans Am until it started being produced on the assembly line. Pontiac did provide him the first two or three off the line. If you really want to disagree with Glen, the man who created Knight Rider and its Pilot in the first place that's your decision but I would take his word over yours.

=VK=
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It is not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. Glen’s statement can be interpreted 2 ways. I was clarifying as to which would be the correct interpretation given documented fact.

Glen's statement: "They decided to take the first couple of cars right off the assembly line and donated them to the show for us. They were cars that were bought and on their way to dealers, and they had to sort of fib a bit because they were not ours.."

For this statement to be true, as per your interpretation, then the car that was shown at Saugus 2-4 years ago that was authenticated as being one of those "first cars" that you mention, along with the all of the authenticated Universal documentation presented with it (original title, and others) is a total fraud. By the matching VIN on the title and car, it was built long after the very first 82 Trans Am’s built came off the line (as I stated), including the model used. PHS records also verify this car having been delivered to Universal Studios.

The first cars used for the show may have been right off the line, but as I stated, and will remain to do so, they were NOT “the first 82 Trans Am’s built to come off the line” (including the model used).

Find out from Glen when he got those cars and we can see how it fits the timeline. Documentation easily accessible to the public shows your interpretation to be incorrect, regardless.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by vampire knight » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:21 am

I believe the car at Saugus was car 3 or 4. So it could still jive with Glen's story since he did say first couple.

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Re: Why did Pontiac abandon Knight Rider

Post by 1982 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:23 am

vampire knight wrote:I believe the car at Saugus was car 3 or 4. So it could still jive with Glen's story since he did say first couple.


Look for the video link that was posted on your website after that event.

The owner specifically mentions the story of the "first cars off of the line" and states "this is one of those cars" in the video.

If it was car 3 or 4, then that car was being misrepresented.

Still need to know when Glen received the first 2 cars that are mentioned.

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