Knight Rider transitioning from an updated made-for-TV movie to a series was a fait accompli as far as I was concerned -- at least as soon as I saw the movie's initial ratings. It was never in doubt. Though it seemed universally scorned by reviewers from just about every major media outlet to Michael Arrington on TechCrunch (scroll down to comment #39), who cares? Television, like it or not, isn't always about what's good or good for us. It's about what we actually watch.
Over 12.7 million people watched the initial airing of the movie on February 11. And six and half million of them were in the 18-49 and was the 5th most watched program among the 18-49 demographic behind LOST and ahead of Survivor: Micronesia. On an overall basis it was #8 for the week in total viewing. But it's the 18-49 viewers that made the difference, with a solid 5.0 rating in that demographic. For the first hour of the movie, it ran up against one of ABC's better performing shows. both overall and in the 18-49 demo, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (which was the #7 show in the 18-49 demo that same week).
Knight Rider outranked Extreme Makeover in the 18-49 demo. Cheesy? Campy? Stupid? Who cares? You have to try! It makes total sense, because what matters most is how many people watch, not what the critics say. I don't see the series holding the incredibly strong (these days) 5.0 rating in the 18-49 demo, but if it slips to even around a 3.0 demo rating, that's still a hit for the crew at NBC.
Coming soon: And bringing back 30 Rock might not be as wacky as it seems either!