Knight Rider is a 2008 series that follows the 1982 TV series of the same title and the 2008 television movie. The series stars Justin Bruening as Mike Traceur, the estranged son of Michael Knight. The series also stars Deanna Russo as Sarah Graiman, Traceur's former girlfriend and love interest. Sarah is the daughter of Charles Graiman. Graiman is played by Bruce Davison, the creator of a new generation of KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand), voiced by Val Kilmer. The series ran for one season.
The story takes place twenty five years after the original Knight Rider series. Mike Traceur (who later changes his name to Michael Knight), son of the original Michael Knight, has become the driver of the next generation KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand), now a Ford Shelby GT500KR Mustang. Along with a former fiancée Sarah Graiman, the daughter of the scientist Charles Graiman who designed both KITTs, Mike becomes the new champion of Knight Industries, a high tech government and law enforcement contractor
In the episode "Day Turns Into Knight", Dr. Graiman dies due to an apparent explosion on a damaged aircraft, and Agent Rivai is seriously injured and forced not to continue on as the team's FBI agent. During the episode "Knight to King's Pawn", the NSA shuts down the KITT Project due to Dr. Graiman's death, and Agent Torres deactivates KITT in order to reactivate KARR. Torres believed that KITT's programming would be able to override KARR's inherent self-preservation protocols to save human lives instead of harming them. In holographic messages to Mike and Sarah, Dr. Graiman reveals this had always been Agent Torres's plan for KITT and that he had opposed him. Mike is told that he was KARR's original driver and that his mind was wiped in the wake of the project's failure. The team find KITT's AI stored online and attempt to rebuild it. Mike then infiltrates Area 51 to install the new KITT AI chip into his confiscated Mustang shell.
As Mike and KITT flee, KARR discovers that KITT has been reactivated and overcomes KITT's protocols, taking Torres as a hostage/driver. KITT is able to destroy KARR but Agent Torres dies shortly therafter. Sarah discovers that her father had left all of the Knight Industries' funding in her name. Sarah, Mike, Zoe, and Billy use that funding to restart the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG) and continue on its original mission.
In the spring of 2007, NBC-Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker hired Ben Silverman as chief NBC programmer, and asked him to help bring NBC out of last place in network ratings. One of Silverman's early moves was to try to revive old franchises like Knight Rider and Gladiators. Silverman, in a deal endorsed by Ford Motor Company, the car supplier, approved production. In advance of its anticipated weekly run, the new Knight Rider series was introduced with a television movie on February 17, 2008. The new series premiered on NBC on September 24, 2008 and leads the network's Wednesday evening lineup, along with Deal or No Deal and Lipstick Jungle On October 21, 2008, NBC gave the show a full season order of 22 episodes.All of the episodes that aired on TV are also available on the PlayStation Network Video Store, Xbox Live Marketplace and iTunes Store. The episodes are available in HD format and SD format.
On November 10, 2008, NBC reformatted the show in an effort to more closely resemble the storyline of its predecessor. Yancey Arias, Bruce Davison, and Sydney Tamiia Poitier's characters were removed from the series after the end of their original thirteen episode commitment starting with a two part episode scheduled to air in January 2009. The show continued with a more character-driven focus on Michael and KITT
On December 3, 2008, NBC reduced its season order to seventeen episodes.The series finale aired on March 4, 2009. On May 19, 2009, NBC announced that they would not renew Knight Rider for a second season.