“They said, ‘Would you take a look at this Knight Rider [TV-movie]?’ And I did, and they asked my opinion, and I said, ‘Do you really want my opinion?’ Because that's always a loaded question in Hollywood when they ask your opinion. Most of time it's like we want to hear how good it was. And I told them, ‘If you really want my opinion I'll tell you what I think, OK?’ And so I told them, it didn't really look like you advanced anything. You need to reinvent this. If you're going to go to series, you need to reinvent it. It's really got to be something cool. And something cool every week. So we started talking about what to do, and they really kind of just said how would you make this a series? And I said this isn't making a series.
“We're dealing with a sophisticated audience that's seen a lot of car movies and as my kid said to me when we're sitting watching the 2-hour, he goes ‘big deal, our car can talk.’ And I'm like ‘OK, well you got me there’ and then I said ‘OK but can your car do THIS?’ And that's the thing that we're going to bring to the series and it's going to be really cool.”Thompson also seems to be distancing the series (which he is overseeing) from the TV-movie (with which he had nothing to do):
"There was the original Knight Rider series which we all love, there was the 2-hour movie, and now there's the new series. And they share in common a car named KITT, different car in some cases, and there's going to be some people from the 2-hour movie who are carrying over to the new series. And we're going to see some new faces too. That's sort of what I told NBC when I came in. I said look, if you're going to do the 2-hour again this isn't for me and if you're going to do that on a weekly basis I'm not your guy. I'm the guy who wrote The Fast and the Furious, I have a reputation, and that reputation's going to be on this show so I need to make it cool."
"We sort of had to backpaddle, and the good thing about what they did - and by the way I had nothing to do with the 2-hour, I was brought in afterwards to do the series - the good thing about what they did with it is they left it almost a blank slate. There are a few things, but everything that was there we can either fill in and embellish or basically discredit in some way and say no that's not the truth"Thompson’s comments also suggest that TV-movie writer David Andron is a member of the show’s writing staff, but not a series showrunner. Thompson, who also created and oversaw NBC's recently cancelled "Vegas," explains the "Knight Rider" series will be quite separate from the TV-movie, and that one doesn't need to see the TV-movie to enjoy the series he is mounting. The series starts shooting next month. Screen Actors Guild permitting, NBC will start airing it 8 p.m. Wednesdays starting this autumn. Read all of knightrideronline’s illuminating chat with Thompson here.