David Hasselhoff is eager to be welcomed on American shores.
The actor has found much success overseas over the years, most recently exec producing and starring in the U.K. stage musical “Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life,” which ran through February. But now he wants to come home.
“I’ve been over there too long,” said the man best known in the States, perhaps, for his turns on the U.S. TV series “Baywatch” and “Knight Rider.” “I’m happy to go where the sun is shining or the snow is falling, but I’ve had it with the rain over in the U.K.,” he said in an interview, after taking part in a session for the new “Baywatch” movie slated to debut in 2017.
Hasselhoff could be primed for an American revival, of sorts. The six-episode first season of his U.K. “mockumentary” series “Hoff the Record” is slated to debut on Mark Cuban’s AXS cable-TV network on March 31 The series stars the man recognized as many as Mitch Buchannon moving overseas to get his career back on track, while navigating some surreal obstacles. The show is distributed by BBC Worldwide North America. To draw attention to the new offering, AXS, known mostly for programming devoted to live events and music, will this Saturday host what it calls a “Hoff-A-Thon,” a block of content curated and hosted by Hasselhoff. Get ready to watch clips of everything from “Piranha 3DD” to “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.”
Hasseloff takes it all in stride, but believes U.S. audiences will enjoy the new series. AXS “plays mostly music, and all of a sudden, here’s something that is a quirky comedy, but the comedy is kind of rock and roll,” he says, exuding the confidence of, say, a Michael Knight at the end of an hour of “Knight Rider” when the plot has been resolved and he and KITT, the super car, emerge victorious.
“We will see what happens,” he said of the new program. “I’m hopeful it works, because if it doesn’t work, I’m going to be down at Variety working in marketing,” he joked.
Hasselhoff has other projects to juggle. He recently was part of a promotion of NBCUniversal’s Cozi TV digital-cable offering that featured “Hoff-A-Minute” news reports on his comings and goings as part of a marathon of “Knight Rider” episodes. His daughter, Taylor-Ann Hasselhoff, anchored the segments. The actor has a role in “Sharknado 4,” the latest monster spoof from NBCU’s Syfy cable network. And, of course, there’s the new iteration of “Baywatch.”
Hasselhoff praised Dwayne Johnson, who has taken over the role of Mitch Buchannon in the remake. “He’s a hell of a nice guy,” he said. Would Hasselhoff want to lead another “Baywatch” crew? “I feel like I’ve moved on to other things,” Hasselhoff said.
He hopes one of those things will be a new “Knight Rider” project. The idea has for several years been rumored to be gestating at the Weinstein Company, and Hasselhoff wishes executives there would pick his brain. “I see it as more of a continuation of the TV series, and they can add new characters or whatever, but they should basically keep the same feeling of the show. There are so many people out there that will absolutely freak out and love it,” he explained. “It would be Michael Knight kind of coming out of retirement with his son and having adventures around the world, and doing a ‘Fast and Furious’ with the Knight Rider car. How cool does that sound? How cool could it be?”
If audiences agree, Hasselhoff would certainly ride again. “I’d love to turn ‘Knight Rider’ into a real franchise,” he added.