NBC to Re-imagine "Knight Rider" & "Robinson Crusoe"
Following the success of Sci-Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" (NBC's sister cable network) as well as encouraging premiere ratings for "The Bionic Woman," new NBC boss Ben Silverman has decided to greenlight two new projects tapping into classic (meaning: pre-sold) stories of "Knight Rider" and "Robinson Crusoe."
"Knight Rider" will be a made-for-TV movie which will also serve as a backdoor pilot for a new series if the ratings are good enough.
The show’s iconic talking car KITT will get a special effects makeover as it takes on Transformer-inspired "shape-shifting" evil cars. Producers consulted major car firms to create a new state-of-the-art machine.
The network has also ordered a 13-episode series based on the classic Daniel Defoe tale of "Robinson Crusoe" which will be produced by a British company.
"Crusoe" will be a high-end project with the budget of $35 million, but it will cost NBC only $10 million, as the rest will be covered by a British partner.
This way NBC gets a 13-episode high-end series for the price of a good pilot ("LOST" pilot, for example, cost ABC $10-12 million to produce).
The principal character will be played by a British actor and the filming is expected to take place in Australia.
Although set in the 18th century, "Crusoe" will be re-imagined with a 21st century take on race relations and a MacGyver-like character who will be making handy tools and devices out of common items.
Will these shows copy the success of "Battlestar Galactica" or turn into a disaster like "Flash Gordon"?