Brenda and Kelly of “90210” aren’t the only TV characters from another decade marking a return this fall season. To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, KITT is back in town.
Off the primetime air since 1986, NBC brought back “Knight Rider” last spring in a two-hour movie/backdoor pilot, without David Hasselhoff but with a super spiffy car once more as a lead character. (Val Kilmer will voice the part originated by William Daniels.) It’s not as if anyone were asking for a new edition of “Rider,” but the response was encouraging enough for NBC to move it into a series.
Moving into an 8 p.m. Wednesday spot on the fall schedule against competition that includes reality (“America’s Next Top Model”), drama (“Bones”), comedy (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) and dramedy (“Pushing Daisies”), “Knight Rider” will support the revamped KITT with an ensemble cast but also depend on him to be compelling in his own right.
“Why would you put artificial intelligence into a car? That’s the question we asked ourselves, and it has a bigger answer,” says executive producer Gary Scott Thompson (“The Fast and the Furious,” “Las Vegas”). “The idea is KITT — without giving away too much, KITT is learning, and KITT is learning until we find out what KITT is ultimately learning for.”