Knight Rider to reduce focus to core


In a story just broke by the Hollywood Reporter, it seems that several members of the cast will not be continuing past the original 13 episode order.

NBC's freshman drama "Knight Rider" is undergoing a major retooling, bringing it closer to the original 1980s series. Among the changes, the options of three regulars on the show -- Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Yancey Arias and Bruce Davison -- were not picked up beyond the initial 13-episode order.

"It's a reboot," "Knight" executive producer/showrunner Gary Scott Thompson said. "We're moving away from the terrorist-of-the-week formula and closer to the original, making it a show about a man and his car going out and helping more regular people, everymen."

Such a change would make "Knight" a better fit into NBC's newly rebranded crime drama Wednesday lineup alongside "Life" and "Law & Order."

The revamped "Knight" will kick off with the two-part Episodes 10-11. NBC is planning a major push, including possibly airing Episode 10 on Sunday after an NFL football game in January, with the conclusion airing the following Wednesday.

Such a move would bring "Knight" back to Sunday night, where the two-hour movie/backdoor pilot drew big ratings in February.

The series it spawned has been struggling in the Wednesday 8 p.m. slot, dropping last week to a season-low 5.1 million viewers and a 1.6 rating/4 share in adults 18-49.

The retooling had been put in motion long before the full-season order for "Knight" three weeks ago. The UMS/Dutch Oven series is now filming Episode 15.

There are no immediate plans to add new regulars to the show, which will focus on the five remaining characters: Mike (Justin Bruening), Sarah (Deanna Russo), Billy (Paul Campbell), Zoe (Smith Cho) and KITT. The producers also are looking to do stunt guest castings.

Thompson stressed that the decision to let the castmembers go was a difficult one tied to the show's change in direction and had nothing to do with the actors.

What this means to the characters that remain, the current story lines and the SSC will be unknown for some time. This raises a lot of questions and it will be some time before we will have a clear picture of what is down the line.

On a personal note, we just want to wish those cast members that are departing well. Have personally spent time them, they are truly dedicated and talented actors in their field. We are saddened to hear that they will no longer be on the series and wish them the best with whatever the future holds.

[Hollywood Reporter]

  • Getting rid of Graiman while keeping Billy and Zoe is a big mistake, IMO. Graiman is the KITT's creator and the one who resurrected the Foundation. He's this series' "Devon", so why get rid of him?

  • Debbi

    Big mistake getting rid of Bruce Davison. No disrespect to "Sarah", but she just does not cut it as the leader of the pack. At least Davison brought class to the show.


    do what ever it takes to get ratings back up to were you what them to be and even try to bring back the some of the cast members from the 80's show if that is what got the ratings so high..... bring back another season of knight rider I would appicate it so much it is so hard to think you guys might not bring it back it is so heart breaking

  • JV

    I don't see that NBC has any games scheduled for Sundays in January... ????

  • Trek Man

    I Agree with GuardianAngle about Dr. Graiman He really should stay since he did create KITT. Which would mean that Mr. Thompson needs to make the right decision if he wants to take Knight Rider back to the way it use to be. Keep Dr. Grayman on the show man! Dont be an idiot.

  • GuardianAngel

    Getting rid of Graiman while keeping Billy and Zoe is a big mistake, IMO. Graiman is the KITT's creator and the one who resurrected the Foundation. He's this series' "Devon", so why get rid of him?. While I agree with reducing the cast, the choice made makes me really believe Gary Scott Thompson didn't watch the original series and understand why it was successful.

  • Trek Man

    I Understand on the idea of going back to what Knight Rider was and i think that it is a realy good idea. Since that they are doing this change i would think that it would be cool if they would bring back the "Original" KITT for an episode or two since that they are bringing up KARR again.

  • Media Man

    I welcome the changes because the main cast was too big. In some episodes they were literally stumbling over each other for screen time. As for the cast changes, I would have dropped four cast members- kept Ms. Poitier as the new Devon, Ms. Russo as the mechanic/systems specialist and Mr.Bruening as the driver (and the car of course). The original Knight Rider worked because the principle cast was small. The majority of the show was Michael and KITT. That is what this new show should have been from the get-go. Not team Knight Rider (without the additional vehicles).

  • Yvette

    I understand its 2008 But you need Bruce Davison That elder mine .. Did you guy really look at knight rider or wonder women ? He is the Devon that made the show

  • Bobbycapo

    Seems to me like this incarnation of KR will be a one season show, just like TKR. The show was finally getting good, and it seems to me that the loss of the selected three will make this show nothing more than a show about four post teeny boppers.

    The four more experienced, seasoned people add a level of seriousness that is not found in the remaining cast members. The same seriousness was found in Devon Miles in the original.

    I will still watch, because it is KR, but I forsee this being the beginning of the end. It was really starting to get good with the ensamble!

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