'Knight Rider' to halt production early
In NBC's midseason announcement today, "Rider" is listed to have its season finale on Feb. 25. The network has recently said it plans to overhaul the show to function as more of a crime-of-the-week procedural. The format changes are still going to air in the coming weeks, but the cutback suggests there is little expectation that a revamp will reverse the action-drama's ratings decline.
This episode reduction likely spells the beginning of the end of the show, since "Rider" ratings have been abysmal. Unless there's marked improvement between now and the finale, it's tough to see NBC paying to bring back "Rider" next fall. Still, as with "Lipstick Jungle" -- which the network has not ordered new episodes for, but has also not pulled from its lineup -- NBC sources say they do not consider the show canceled.
NBC picked up "Rider" for a full season in late October, relatively early in the show's run. Though modestly rated, the numbers had seemed to level off. After the pickup, "Rider" declined -- and kept declining -- with the most recent episode watched by 5.2 million viewers and earning a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49.