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October 20, 2008

NBC picks up 'Knight Rider'

Kitt NBC has picked up "Knight Rider" for a full season, sources say.

The network has ordered another nine episodes of the Wednesday night action-drama, which is produced by sister division Universal Media Studios.

The show has been modestly rated, typically matching CBS' freshman comedies for second place in its 8 p.m. time slot. The most recent episode was seen by 6.9 million viewers, and earned a 2.3 adults 19-49 rating and 7 share.

The “Rider” pickup marks the first freshman fall NBC series to receive a full season order, joining CBS’ “The Mentalist,” Fox’s “Fringe” and CW’s “90210.”

Also: A couple of industry sources are buzzing that UMS actually rejected an NBC order for a few more "Life" scripts in order to hold out for a full-season pickup -- a surprising negotiation tactic considering UMS and NBC are owned by the same company and that “Life” has been struggling in the ratings. A UMS spokesperson says the rumors are untrue. If they are true, it would seem a bit like drowning Titanic passengers rejecting help from the Carpathia to hold out for a bigger boat.

There would be logic to such a scrape, though. “Life” is hurting on Friday nights, but NBC put it there. NBC is watching numbers sink in a few time periods and is going to need reliable hole-filling content. And in recent weeks CBS’ quirky detective dramas are performing solidly, so one would think NBC should be able to plug a leak with “Life.”

Updated: Fall TV series survival report

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