Proving that, despite what a lot of you thought, NBC's series pick up of the new Knight Rider series is more than just a cheap April Fool's hoax — Like we would be that cruel, come on — former Las Vegas showrunner Gary Scott Thompson has been named as the new series' executive producer and showrunner. While he may not have the pedigree of, say, Battlestar Galactica's Ron Moore, one look at Thompson's resume should tell you exactly why he's perfect for this particular job.
According to Knight Rider producer Universal Media Studio's Katherine Pope, there was no other choice when it came to who should run the new series:
The network and studio all came to this idea separately. There was a list of one [for the role].Pope also told the Hollywood Reporter the ongoing season will have way "more action and special effects" than the recent TV movie, "which was done on a very tight schedule" that prohibited a lot of SFX set-pieces.
Wondering just what makes Thompson the go-to guy for Knight Rider? The answers are right there on his IMDB listing. When you think of Knight Rider, what do you think of? Hot car action? Dude, Thompson can't be beat; he wrote The Fast and The Furious (and also got credit on 2 Fast 2 Furious, for that matter. But note: No The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, which can only be taken as a good sign).
Not convinced of the random, vaguely-SF chops he'll need for a show about a talking, nanotech car? Thompson can do shitty SF with the best of them - He not only wrote Hollow Man and Hollow Man II (Yeah, I didn't know there was a Hollow Man II, either), but he's the mind responsible for Timecop: The Berlin Decision, as well.
I know, I know. You're thinking "Wait, everyone knows that every episode of Knight Rider should also have some terribly unfunny comedy in it, preferably revolving around one man talking to something that most people wouldn't expect to see someone talking to. Can this wunderkind do that?" Yes he can, my friend. Gary Scott Thompson was the writer of K-9: P.I., the sequel to "hit" Jim Belushi vehicle K-9, about one man and his dog... fighting crime.
So, there you do — Thompson has shown himself able to create middle of the road dramas with science-fiction tendencies that include attempts at comedy and very, very pretty cars. If that doesn't make you realize that Knight Rider is in capable hands, then I don't know what will. Roll on the new season! [Variety]