Knight Rider (1982 TV series)

Knight Rider
Genre Action/Adventure
Science fiction/Crime
Created by Glen A. Larson
Starring David Hasselhoff (S1-4)
Edward Mulhare (S1-4)
Patricia McPherson (S1, 3, 4)
Rebecca Holden (S2)
Peter Parros (S4)
Voices of William Daniels (uncred.)
Narrated by Richard Basehart (uncred.)
Theme music composer Stu Phillips
Glen A. Larson
Composer(s) Stu Phillips (13 episodes)
Don Peake (75 episodes)
Glen A. Larson (1 episode)
Morton Stevens (1 episode)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 90 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Glen A. Larson
Robert Foster
R.A. Cinader (First 12 Episodes from Season One)
Location(s) California
Running time 45 minutes
Production company(s) Glen A. Larson Productions
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Audio format Mono (season 1–3)
stereo (season 4)
Original release September 26, 1982 (1982-09-26) – April 4, 1986 (1986-04-04)
Followed by Knight Rider (2008 TV series)
Related shows Code of Vengeance
Team Knight Rider

Knight Rider is an American television series created and produced by Glen A. Larson. The series was originally broadcast on NBC from 1982 to 1986. The show stars David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a high-tech modern crime fighter assisted by KITT, an advanced artificially intelligent, self-aware and nearly indestructible car. This was the last series Larson devised at Universal Television before he moved to 20th Century Fox.


Self-made billionaire Wilton Knight rescues police Detective Lieutenant Michael Arthur Long after a near fatal shot to the face, giving him a new identity (by plastic surgery) and a new name: Michael Knight. Wilton selects Michael to be the primary field agent in the pilot program of his public justice organization, the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG). The other half of this pilot program is the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT), a heavily modified, technologically advanced Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with numerous features including an extremely durable shell and frame, controlled by a computer with artificial intelligence. Michael and KITT are brought in during situations where "direct action might provide the only feasible solution".

Heading FLAG is Devon Miles, who provides Michael with directives and guidance. Dr. Bonnie Barstow is the chief engineer in charge of KITT's care, as well as technical assistant to Devon (April Curtis fills this role in Season 2).


The car used as KITT in the series was a customized 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am sports model, that cost US$100,000 to build[1] (equivalent to about $245,000 in 2014).[2] Nose, dash and other interior of the car was designed by the design consultant Michael Scheffe.[3]

Cast and characters


The "Knight Rider Theme" was composed by Stu Phillips and Glen A. Larson.[5] The rest of the series music was composed by Stu Phillips with 13 episodes in total, Don Peake with 75 episodes, Glen A. Larson co-wrote music only for the "K.I.T.T. vs. K.A.R.R." episode and Morton Stevens who wrote music just for the "Deadly Maneuvers" episode in the first season.

Peake took over scoring duties at S1E14 in 1983, when Larson moved to Twentieth Century-Fox and Phillips was working there on his projects.[6] Peake insisted as the only and main composer until the end of the series in 1986, exceptionally for the "K.I.T.T. vs. K.A.R.R." episode in third season, which he composed together with Stu Phillips and Glen A. Larson.

In 2005 FSM released a disc of music from the series, featuring the series theme, ad bumpers and Phillips' scores for "Knight of the Phoenix" (the pilot), "Not A Drop To Drink", "Trust Doesn't Rust", "Forget Me Not" and the composer's final episode "Inside Out", as well as the logo music for Glen Larson Productions. Albums of Don Peake's scores have also been issued.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122September 26, 1982 (1982-09-26)May 6, 1983 (1983-05-06)
224October 2, 1983 (1983-10-02)May 27, 1984 (1984-05-27)
322September 30, 1984 (1984-09-30)May 5, 1985 (1985-05-05)
422September 20, 1985 (1985-09-20)April 4, 1986 (1986-04-04)

The intro throughout most of the episodes began with this narration:

"Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist.
Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless in a world of criminals who operate above the law."

During the first season, the outro was Michael and KITT driving though a road in the desert with Wilton Knight's words of "One man can make a difference, Michael."

Then the narration goes on to say:
"Michael Knight, a lone crusader in a dangerous world. The world of the Knight Rider."

The outro of Seasons 2 and 3 was Michael and KITT driving away from the sunset toward the camera. Season 4's outro was the same, except with KITT in Super Pursuit Mode.

DVD releases

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released all four seasons of Knight Rider on DVD in regions 1, 2 & 4. A complete series box set featuring all 90 episodes in a collector's edition box has been released in regions 1[7] & 2.[8]

On March 8, 2016, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to the series in Region 1; they subsequently re-released the first two seasons on DVD on May 3, 2016.[9] On October 4, 2016, Mill Creek will re-release Knight Rider- The Compete Series on DVD in Region 1.[10]

Blu-ray releases

In Japan, NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan—a subsidiary of NBCUniversal—released a Blu-ray box set containing all four seasons, replicas, props, and memorabilia under the title ナイトライダー コンプリート ブルーレイBOX (Knight Rider: The Complete Series). The set is limited to Region Code A, which includes the U.S. It was released on November 27, 2014.[11] Individual seasons are unavailable on Blu-ray at this time.

In North America, Mill Creek Entertainment will release the complete series on Blu-ray in Region 1 on October 4, 2016.[12] There are currently no plans for the Blu-ray to be released outside the U.S. or Japan.

Digital streaming

The series had been available for streaming on Netflix. The first season was available on Hulu. Some episodes are available on NBC's web site.[13]

Spin-offs and sequels

Code of Vengeance

The two-part episode "Mouth of the Snake" served as a backdoor pilot for a 1984 series to be called All That Glitters. Rejected by NBC, the lead character and actor were recycled for a short-lived 1985-1986 series titled Code of Vengeance, revolving around Charles Taylor as Vietnam veteran David Dalton. As a result, the participation of Michael Knight and KITT in the episode was actually quite limited. The Knight Rider episode featured Dalton exhibiting great gymnastics, not unlike The Six Million Dollar Man without bionics, but when Code of Vengeance aired, Dalton was an ordinary-skilled drifter. It soon fell off the schedules after only two two-hour movies and two one-hour episodes.[14]

Knight Rider 2000

Main article: Knight Rider 2000

Knight Rider 2000 was a 1991 sequel movie featuring Michael Knight and Devon Miles, with KITT being given a new sporty red body (a close copy of the Pontiac Banshee IV concept car, actually a Dodge Stealth with custom body work) as the Knight 4000. It served as a pilot for a would-be new series starring Susan Norman as Shawn McCormick, but the series never materialized.

Knight Rider 2010

Knight Rider 2010 is a 1994 movie loosely based on the show. The film was penned by Miami Vice writer John Leekley.

Team Knight Rider

In 1997, Team Knight Rider was introduced as a spin-off. Set sometime in the near future, the show featured a fleet of intelligent vehicles. Michael Knight returned at the end of the final episode of the first season, though he was not played by David Hasselhoff. This was a cliffhanger intended to be explained in the next season. However, the show did not catch on and the second season was not commissioned. Team Knight Rider ran for 22 episodes.

2008 television movie and sequel

On September 26, 2007, NBC announced that it was creating a two-hour backdoor pilot to air later that season.[15] In the new version, Justin Bruening stars as the estranged son of Michael Knight, Mike Traceur.[16] Deanna Russo plays Traceur's one-time girlfriend and love interest, Sarah Graiman.[16] Bruce Davison co-stars as her father, physicist Charles Graiman, the original designer of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand).[16] Wayne Kasserman co-stars as Mike's roommate and friend.[17] David Hasselhoff appeared in the pilot as Michael Knight.[16] The new KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) is portrayed as a Ford Shelby GT 500 KR Mustang.[18]

Supervising producer Dave Andron wrote the pilot script, Doug Liman and Dave Bartis executive produced it.[16] NBC announced on December 13, 2007 that the 2-hour pilot would air on February 17, 2008. Val Kilmer recorded the voice for the new KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) Mustang, after Will Arnett, who initially won the role, was asked to withdraw by General Motors due to his prior advertising agreements with them.[19] Sydney Tamiia Poitier, the youngest daughter of Sidney Poitier, played FBI agent Carrie Rivai.

After receiving good ratings, NBC announced that Knight Rider would return as a weekly series beginning in the fall of 2008. The show aired Wednesdays at 8:00pm/7:00pm CT.[20] The series premiered September 24, 2008. In November 2008, NBC announced that the series had been picked up for a complete 22-episode season, but that several cast members would be leaving and the story lines would be revamped after the original 13-episode order.[21] On May 19, 2009, NBC announced that Knight Rider was canceled after one season because of poor ratings.

Film adaptation

In March 2002, Revolution Studios announced a partnership with Mayhem Pictures to create a film adaptation of the television series. The film would be re-designed to be similar to Revolution's previous project, XXX. Series creator Glen A. Larson was hired to write the first script draft, with the series' lead actor David Hasselhoff attached to advise the project and also have an onscreen role.[22] In April 2003, Revolution Studios hired screenwriters David Elliott and Paul Lovett to pen the film's script.[23] In April 2004, the premise of the film was described as having Hasselhoff reprise his role as Michael Knight, now the mentor to the protagonist as Devon Miles mentored Knight in the television series. The protagonist would be Knight's son, inheriting his father's role and driving the vehicle KITT. The producers' choice for the role was actor Ben Affleck.[24]

In May 2006, The Weinstein Company acquired film rights to adapt Knight Rider from series creator Larson. He expressed his interest in the film adaptation as a potential franchise property.[25] The following September, Hasselhoff invited actor Orlando Bloom to portray Knight's son in the film adaptation, but Bloom turned down the offer.[26] In April 2007, Hasselhoff said, that the film was in development at Miramax, and that he would at least have a cameo in the film.[27]

On June 26, 2013, Brad Copeland was writing a script for a Knight Rider film after beating out Travis Beacham, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.[28]

On February 13, 2014, Schmoes Know reports that actors Chris Pratt and Danny McBride are in talks for roles and may use a sort of action-comedy hybrid in the same vein as 21 Jump Street.[29]

In December 2015, a media report indicated that a new movie named Knight Rider Heroes is in the works and will include David Hasselhoff.[30]


A new series is in the works, expected to launch in 2017. It will be a joint production of Machinima and Justin Lin's media company YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily and NBC Universal.[31]

In syndication

In popular culture

In 1984, "Hooray for Hollywood", a two-part episode of Diff'rent Strokes, David Hasselhoff and KITT (not voiced by William Daniels) appeared when rescuing Arnold Jackson, played by Gary Coleman and Dudley Ramsey, played by Shavar Ross from a near on-set incident while visiting Universal Studios Hollywood.

A black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am built to mimic KITT from the TV series Knight Rider.

On July 8, 2008, GPS manufacturer Mio Technology announced the release of a Knight Rider-themed GPS unit for a price of $270. The unit has the original Knight Rider logo printed above the display and features the voice of William Daniels.[32]

In 2012 and 2013, General Electric ran an advertising campaign, "Brilliant Machines", about the coming generation of General Electric robotic devices. The campaign was built around famous robots from the movies and television, and K.I.T.T. was prominently featured.[33] One ad, narrated by William Daniels, showed K.I.T.T. in Autocruise mode racing a GE diesel-electric railroad engine hauling a freight train.[34]

Toys, games and vehicles

Various toy versions of KITT were released and produced solid profits. Among the more notable of the Knight Rider memorabilia includes the remote controlled KITT, the Knight Rider lunch box, and the deluxe version of KITT. This final model, sold by Kenner Toys and dubbed the "Knight Rider Voice Car", spoke electronically, using a recording of the voice of William Daniels, featured a detailed interior and a Michael Knight action figure as well.[35]

In the 1980s there was a Knight Rider toy vehicle for Germany's Darda system.[36]

Knight Rider: The Game was produced for PlayStation 2 by Davilex International under license. Players could drive KITT through 15 missions and meeting characters from the show, like Devon, Bonnie, KARR and Garthe Knight.[37] Davilex also released a sequel in late 2004.[38]

As with many popular series of the era (including The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team etc.), ERTL released die-cast toys of KITT in three different sizes — the common miniature model, a "medium" model, and a large model. These toys featured red reflective holograms on the nose to represent the scanner (however, they were located on the point of the nose, rather like the early mock-up of KITT seen in the pilot episode) as opposed to altering the basic model design to incorporate the scanner as commonly seen in the series. The toys also included round steering wheels as opposed to KITT's steering yoke.

Also in late 2004, 1/18 scale die-cast models of KITT and KARR were produced from ERTL, complete with detailed interior and illuminated moving scanner, just like in the series.[39]

In September 2006, Hitari, a UK-based company that produces remote control toy cars, released the Knight Rider KITT remote control car in 1/15 scale, complete with the working red scanner lights, KITT's voice from the television show and the car's turbine engine sound with the "whoosh whoosh" scanner sound effect.[40][41]

In December 2012, Diamond Select Toys released a talking electronic 1/15 scale KITT that features an illuminated dashboard, scanner, fog lights and tail lights, along with the original voice of KITT, William Daniels, all at a push of a button. An Entertainment Earth exclusive version of that Diamond Select Toys 1/15 KITT, exclusive, as it will include an in scale figure of Michael Knight to go with the car, was released in February 2013 and was available exclusively at Entertainment Earth's Web site. Diamond Select Toys will also was to be releasing an 8-inch figure of Michael Knight with the likeness of David Hasselhoff, which was to be released in March 2013.[42][43][44]

In February 2013, Hot Wheels released a 1/18 die-cast of KITT as part of their die-cast Elite series of vehicles under their Cult Classics Collection. This one from Hot Wheels was an improvement over the one ERTL released back in 2004. With sharper attention to details on the dashboard, the model features an improved light up red scanner, opening doors and rear hatch, as well as an engine hood which opens up to reveal a detailed Knight 2000 turbine engine which is exclusive to the model and was never shown in the TV series. Additional features include pop up headlights, revolving license plates, ejector seats, removable t-tops and a foldable rear seat.[45]

A "Fun Pack" based on Knight Rider for the toys-to-life video game Lego Dimensions is planned for release in February 2017. The pack includes a Michael Knight minifigure and constructible KITT, and will unlock additional Knight Rider-themed content in the game.[46]


The Knight Rider theme was sampled in the songs "Clock Strikes", "Fire It Up", and "Mundian to Bach Ke",[47] and was also featured as Ted's ringtone in John's phone in the 2012 comedy film Ted.[48]

In sports

The Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders is named after the series.

See also


  1. Browning, Norma Lee. "Riding High with Knight Rider", Toys R Us magazine; Vol. 1, No. 2; 1986; p. 5
  2. "CPI Inflation Calculator". Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Government. United States Government. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  3. The Knight Industries Two Thousand – K.I.T.T.- Behind the Scanner at
  4. Nugent, Nick (December 2008). The Knight Rider Companion. Will Garris Publishing. p. 91. ISBN 0-9774505-9-7.
  5. "Knight Rider Theme" sheet music at
  6. "Revving It Up", liner notes, Knight Rider: The Stu Phillips Scores, FSM Vol. 8, No. 10.
  7. Knight Rider: The Complete Series. "Knight Rider: The Complete Series: David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare: Movies & TV". Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  8. "Knight Rider — The Complete Box Set [DVD]: David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Patricia Mcpherson, Julian Alverez, James Young: Film & TV". Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  9. "Knight Rider DVD news: Re-Release for Season 1 and Season 2 -".
  10. Mill Creek Announces Blu-ray Disc for 'The Complete Series'! *UPDATED*
  11. "Knight Rider: The Complete Series Blu-ray". Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  12. Mill Creek Announces Blu-ray Disc for 'The Complete Series'! *UPDATED*.
  13. Knight Rider.
  14. Buck, Jerry (January 1, 1986). "Premiere delay only one of the problems facing 'Dalton'". The Modesto Bee. p. D8. Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  15. Adalian, Josef (September 26, 2007). "NBC taps Liman for 'Knight Rider'". Variety Magazine. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 Andreeva, Nellie (November 20, 2007). "Pair help KITT-start new 'Rider'". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 17, 2010. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
  17. "Knight Cast Fills Out.", November 29, 2007.
  18. West, Kelly (November 30, 2007). "Pictures Of Remake-Knight Rider's KITT Surface Online". Blend Television. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
  19. "Kilmer 'will voice' Knight Rider". BBC. February 7, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
  20. "NBC reveals complete 52-week program strategy, earlier than ever, that gives advertisers the opportunity to create unique marketing solutions" (Press release). NBC Universal.
  21. Andreeva, Nellie (November 10, 2008). ""Knight Rider" changes gears, ejects stars". Hollywood Reporter.
  22. Michael Fleming (March 18, 2002). "Revolution revs 'Rider'". Variety. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  23. Marc Graser (April 13, 2003). "Scribes revving up 'Knight Rider' pic". Variety. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  24. "Knightmare". Empire. April 13, 2004. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  25. Ian Mohr (May 8, 2006). "TV's 'Knight' rides again". Variety. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  26. "Bloom snubs The Hoff's role". September 1, 2006. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  27. Brooke Tarnoff (May 2, 2007). "David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider Movie? Perhaps.". UGO. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2007.
  28. "Arrested Development's Brad Copeland Writing Knight Rider Movie". Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  29. "Schmoes Know Exclusive: The Weinstein Company's 'KNIGHT RIDER' Remake Has Offers Out To Two Major Stars!". Schmoes Know.
  30. "Knight Rider Heroes". Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  31. "Fast & Furious producer Justin Lin is rebooting Knight Rider". The Verge. Retrieved Oct 27, 2016
  32. "Knight Rider GPS by Mio Brings K.I.T.T. to Every Car" (Press release). MiTAC Intl. July 8, 2008. Archived from the original on March 16, 2009.
  33. "GE — Journey". YouTube. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  34. "Knight Rider KITT and the Locomotive Train GE 2012 TV Commercial". YouTube. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  35. "Knight 2000 Voice Car From Kenner". Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  36. "Classic & Current Darda Cars — The A-Z of Darda cars in pictures". Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  37. "Knight Rider: The Game (PlayStation 2)". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  38. "Knight Rider 2 (PC)". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  39. "1983 Knight Rider KITT diecast model car 1:18 scale die cast by Ertl". Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  40. "KNIGHT RIDER — K.I.T.T.". HITARI. Archived from the original on May 4, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  41. "KNIGHT RIDER — K.I.T.T. — Specification Sheet" (PDF). HITARI. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 14, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  42. "Knight Rider 1:15 Scale KITT". Diamond Select Toys. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  43. "EE Exclusive Knight Rider KITT Vehicle with Michael Knight". Entertainment Earth. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  44. "Knight Rider Select-8 Michael Knight Cloth Figure". Diamond Select Toys. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  45. "Hot Wheels Elite 1/18 KITT". Hot Wheels. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  47. "the best in hip hop/soul". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  48. "Movie — Review of Ted (*1/2)". Retrieved October 1, 2014.

Further reading



An annual was published each year in the UK by Grandreams. These books consisted of a mix of text stories and cartoon strips, as well as photos and articles on the show's stars and KITT. There were five annuals produced in total, each reflecting the season of the show that was airing at the time, with the final two releases covering the final season. (The last annual was printed in a quite small quantity, due to the fading popularity of the show, and is thus considerably rarer.)

External links

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