Move over, MacGyver: Another '80s TV icon is being rebooted.
Machinima, the first global many2many programming service focusing on fandom and gamer culture, announced today that it has partnered with YOMYOMF, Justin Lin and NBCUniversal Brand Development to produce a digital reboot of the 80's NBC television series Knight Rider. YOMYOMF and Lin will produce the new digital series that is in active development for a potential 2017 launch date.
This deal is another example of Machinima working with elite talent inside and outside of its network to deliver high-profile, live-action series to its extensive worldwide audience. The announcement was made by Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein.
"Knight Rider is an iconic franchise whose concepts of AI and autonomous vehicles were science fiction in the 1980s and are now science fact," said Gutstein. "Justin is one of the leading storytellers of his generation and we couldn't be more excited to work with him on re-invigorating Knight Rider for a new generation of fans."
The series is the latest in a long list of long form, live action series based on the world's most popular television series and video game franchises that Machinima has produced, some of which are among the most watched online programs in history.
It will join the likes of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, Mortal Kombat: Legacy and Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2, Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist and Street Fighter: Resurrection, and Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. Combined, those series have garnered more than 300 million views on Machinima.
After its initial run with star David Hasselhoff, Knight Rider was revived at NBC in 2008. It ran or only a season with the story picking up the threads of a new lead who was the estranged son of Hasselhoff's Michael Knight.One criticism leveled at the new Knight Rider -- and one Machinima's series will have to address -- is the question of what makes it special in a world where things like AI and advanced gadgetry in your car is not all that unusual.
Machinima, though (as evidenced by the titles above), has a history of successfully translating nostalgia into vital current-day entertainment, so while the money and profile may not be as big for NBC in making Knight Rider a web exclusive, it wouldn't be surprising to see a successful series online lead to more down the line.
There's no clear indication that Hasselhoff will be involved with the new series, although it seems likely he had at least some idea that it was happening six months ago when he said he'd like to see a Fast & Furious-inspired reboot of the franchise.
Not that the franchise ever stays dormant for long: during its hiatus from TV, it was one of a number of NBC Universal properties brought to Lion Forge (and later IDW Publishing) as a comic book series.