NBC has set February 17 as the premiere date for its two-hour "Knight Rider" revamp and announced that Will Arnett ("Arrested Development") will provide the voice of the new KITT car. In the new version, Hasselhoff returns, but the lead character is now Justin Bruening who plays Knight's long-lost son Michael Tracer. Replacing the Pontiac is the Ford Mustang GT500KR, which in real-life is about to launch a 40th anniversary limited-edition version with an engine output estimated at 540 horsepower. The network will gauge viewer reaction to the show: If the ratings are good, NBC plans to turn the show into a weekly series this fall.
The movie stars Justin Bruening ("Cold Case," "All My Children"), Deanna Russo ("NCIS," "The Young and the Restless"), Sydney Tamiia Poitier ("Veronica Mars," "Grindhouse") and Bruce Davison ("Breach," "Close to Home"). In addition, David Hasselhoff (NBC's "America's Got Talent") -- who starred in the popular lead role as Michael Knight for four seasons during the original series -- returns as the same character in a special guest-star appearance. Will Arnett (NBC's "30 Rock," "Blades of Glory") will provide the voice of KITT.
According to the official release we found at AutoBlog,
"Sarah Graiman (Russo) is a 24-year-old Ph.D. candidate at Stanford
University, following in her genius father Charles' (Davison)
footsteps. But when men attempt to abduct her, Sarah receives a
mysterious call from KITT warning her that he's a creation of Charles,
who also invented the first KITT 25 years ago--and that her father is
in serious danger. Sarah and KITT track down her best friend from
childhood, Mike Tracer (Bruening), a 23-year-old ex-Army Ranger, whom
Sarah hasn't seen since he left home at 18. Having served in Iraq, Mike
is now jaded and lost and initially resistant. Eventually he agrees to
help Sarah and the two set out to discover who's behind the attempt to
procure KITT and find Charles. Along the way, Carrie Rivai (Poitier)
plays the agile yet tough FBI agent who has a long-standing friendship
with Charles and Sarah. Due to those ties, she is brought into the mix
to help in the search."
Apparently, the new KITT car promises to have some "Transformers"-like shape-shifting abilities (the story's scientific explanation calls it "nanotechnology"). Three cars will be used in filming: The "KITT Hero" (a 540-hp Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR playing the "everyday Hero car"), the "KITT Attack" (a super high-speed version of the Hero car heavily modified for combat), and a "KITT Remote" (a driverless version).
TVWeek has posted a video of the three cars' debuts. Click here to watch.
Interestingly, Knight Rider involves more than just the integration of a Ford vehicle into a plot line; it's also a media sponsorship with commercials and promotions for Ford products interjected throughout the two-hour program. (Remember how Ford products were integrated into "American Idol"? It'll be a lot like that.)
Knight Rider will provide Ford with the opportunity to showcase its new SYNC voice-activated information and entertainment technology into the storyline in vehicles like the Focus and Edge. The arrangement also allows NBC and Ford to co-promote both the movie and the cars at special events, in theaters, in print, and on the internet.