Doug Liman Producing New Knight Rider Series

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NBC is bringing back “Knight Rider,” hiring Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity) to produce a Transformers-inspired reworking of the 1980s hit action-drama series about a man and his indestructible supercar.

Variety says the network is developing a two-hour pilot for the project, with tentative plans to air it as a telepic later this season. Liman is open to the idea of directing, assuming his feature schedule allows. If the telepic clicks, a new-model “Knight Rider” could be on the air as early as next fall.

Dave Andron (“Raines”) is writing the pilot script and will serve as supervising producer alongside executive producers Liman and Dave Bartis (“The O.C.,” “Heist”) for Universal Media Studios and Dutch Oven Productions.

The trade says the success of Transformers had a role in inspiring NBC Entertainment chief Ben Silverman’s decision to revive “Knight.” The thinking is that small screen f/x have advanced to the point where it’d be feasible to have a weekly series in which cars shift shapes.

It’s also likely the new show will explore the idea of “evil” cars to offset the heroic talking K.I.T.T. car of the original series, which starred David Hasselhoff. That said, the series is expected to essentially remain focused on the story of a single man fighting for justice with the help of his superadvanced car.

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