It’s already a year since Knight Rider returned to NBC as a movie-of-the-week. This feature-length pilot was the fourth attempt to revive the Knight Rider concept, after two earlier TV movies (Knight Rider 2000, Knight Rider 2010) and a syndicated series (Team Knight Rider).
The story focused on Sarah Graiman (Deanna Russo), a 24-year old Ph.D candidate at Stanford University, who was following in her genius father Charles’ (Bruce Davison) footsteps. But when men attempt to abduct her, Sarah receives a mysterious call from K.I.T.T. (voiced by Val Kilmer) warning her that he’s a creation of Charles, who also invented the first K.I.T.T. 25 years ago — and that her father is in serious danger.
Sarah and K.I.T.T. track down her best friend from childhood, Mike Tracer (Justin Bruening), a 23-year-old ex-Army Ranger, whom Sarah hasn’t seen since he left home at 18. Having served in Iraq, Mike is now jaded and lost and initially resistant. Eventually he agrees to help Sarah and the two set out to discover who’s behind the attempt to procure K.I.T.T. and find Charles. Along the way, Carrie Rivai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) plays the agile yet tough FBI agent who has a long- standing friendship with Charles and Sarah. Due to those ties, she is brought into the mix to help in the search.
Unsurprisingly, the movie didn’t set the world alight critically, but it did well enough in the ratings for NBC to commission a full season of new Knight Rider adventures.