×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC taps Liman for ‘Knight Rider’

Network readying two-hour backdoor pilot

NBC is bringing back “Knight Rider,” tapping Doug Liman to produce a “Transformers”-inspired reworking of the 1980s hit action-drama series about a man and his indestructible supercar.

Peacock is readying a two-hour backdoor pilot for the project, with tentative plans to air it as a telepic later this season. Liman is open to the idea of directing, assuming his feature sked allows. If the telepic clicks, a new-model “Knight Rider” could be on the air as early as next fall.

Dave Andron (“Raines”) is writing the pilot script and will serve as supervising producer alongside exec producers Liman and Dave Bartis (“The O.C.,” “Heist”) for Universal Media Studios and Dutch Oven Prods.

Success of “Transformers” had a role in inspiring NBC Entertainment chief Ben Silverman’s decision to revive “Knight.” The thinking is that smallscreen f/x have advanced to the point where it’d be feasible to have a weekly series in which cars shift shapes.

It’s also likely the new show will explore the idea of “evil” cars to offset the heroic talking K.I.T.T. car of the original skein, which starred David Hasselhoff. That said, skein is expected to essentially remain focused on the story of a single man fighting for justice with the help of his superadvanced car.

There’s also huge potential for advertiser integration. General Motors was all over “Transformers,” and it’s easy to see NBC striking a rich deal with a single automaker to serve as the exclusive auto brand for the new “Knight.” It’s understood preliminary talks have already begun.

Peacock is also veering from current conventional wisdom by moving forward with a telepic/backdoor pilot for “Knight.” Nets rarely produce telepics with an eye on turning them into series anymore, in part because the telepic has essentially disappeared from the broadcast network scene.

But NBC execs no doubt feel “Knight Rider” is enough of a pre-sold brand to lure an audience. What’s more, the telepic could serve as a good replacement for repeats come spring, perhaps replacing an encore of “Heroes” or “Bionic Woman.”

“Knight” originally aired on NBC from 1982 until 1986, with Hasselhoff playing smooth crimefighter Michael Knight. A spinoff skein, “Team Knight Rider,” aired in syndication during the 1997-98 season.

Project was put together by CAA and Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment.

Glen Larson created the original “Knight Rider” for Universal Television.

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Norman Reedus and Ryan Hurst'The Walking

    Norman Reedus on 'The Walking Dead' Without Andrew Lincoln: 'He's With Me Every Day'

    After saying goodbye to most of the original cast on “The Walking Dead,” Norman Reedus still feels his former co-stars with him during each episode. “I’ve seen so many people come and go,” he said during a “Walking Dead” panel on Friday at PaleyFest. “Right now on the show, the ghosts of all those guys [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content