The latest on the new ''Knight Rider'' -- NBC plans to update the classic '80s series

By Tanner Stransky
Updated October 05, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Throwbacks are the new comeback — at least, that seems to be the motto at NBC these days. On the same day that its Bionic Woman remake drew nearly 14 million viewers in its first airing, the network announced plans to raid its vault again with a reboot of Knight Rider, the ’80s series about a hunky police officer (David Hasselhoff) who chases down perps with the help of a talking car named KITT.

”Our goal is to preserve the comedic adventure and fun from the show,” says Doug Liman, who will exec-produce and possibly direct the project, which is being developed as a TV movie slated to air this season. (If it’s successful, it could become a series next year.) Liman adds that the tone will fall somewhere between two of the hit movies he’s directed — the dead-serious Bourne Identity and the lightweight action romp Mr. & Mrs. Smith. And borrowing from another hit revamp, the new-and-improved KITT will morph, Transformers-style.

While ’80s-themed projects are capitalizing on a current wave of nostalgia, Liman says Rider was itching to be remade because it’s ”the Shakespeare of our generation” — yes, he really said that — ”a primal story that can be told over and over.” From a network standpoint, adds NBC Entertainment co-chairman Marc Graboff, ”You get a built-in awareness.” And as for the original Knight himself? Asked about a possible Hasselhoff cameo, Liman teases: ”I’m interested in honoring television history in any way that I can.”

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