Does Ben Silverman's ability to spin huge ratings out of our semi-ironic nostalgia for the eighties know no limits? 12.7 million people tuned into NBC's Knight Rider on Sunday night, making the pilot the highest-rated TV movie among viewers ages 18 to 49 in three years (which is totally unsurprising since most TV movies are about breast cancer or the Civil War), and practically guaranteeing it'll return as a series in the fall.
And all this despite the fact that the show was kinda terrible! Advance copies of Knight Rider weren't sent to press (always a good sign), but yesterday's reactions were generally unkind, most pointing out that the movie was basically a two-hour Ford commercial, just with worse acting and offscreen threesomes (for the record, we fell asleep during the first half-hour). So were its 12 million curious viewers the same ones who watched the premieres of Bionic Woman and American Gladiators before ratings dropped off precipitously? We bet they were!