David Hasselhoff and William Daniels (the voice of K.I.T.T.) did not meet until the production's Christmas party, six months after filming season one. Until that point, Hasselhoff had not seen the face behind the voice of the car.
In many of K.I.T.T's jumping scenes, the vision cuts to another angle (such as Michael driving) before landing. This is because, more often than not, the front end of the stunt car is heavily damaged upon landing.
Patricia McPherson was fired after the first season, and replaced with Rebecca Holden to add more sex appeal to the show. David Hasselhoff was unhappy with the change, and lobbied the producers to hire McPherson back. McPherson returned in the third season.
Pontiac, who supplied the Trans Am for the series, found itself swamped with customer requests for black Firebird Trans Ams with T-tops, tan interiors, and red lights on the front bumper, just like the show car.
No long shots of K.I.T.T are ever seen changing into Super Pursuit Mode, since K.I.T.T is not moving at all. A shell of K.I.T.T's body was used when filming the transition to Super Pursuit Mode, since large hydraulic rams were needed to articulate the body panels, and there was no room for an engine or running gear in the car.
K.I.T.T. has a roving red sensor on the hood, It is not only modelled after the Cylon's roving eye from Battlestar Galactica (1978), but when it shown in a close-up, and is moving, not only does it look like the Cylon eye, but also has the same sound effect of it moving as the Cylon's eye made.
William Daniels, who did the voice of K.I.T.T., never appeared in the credits during the show's four year run.
The "auto-cruise" car was a right-hand drive car, so that Hasselhoff could get into the car without cutting the scene (only on the last season).
Super Pursuit Mode was introduced as a means of retaining viewers for a fourth season.
According to Brandon Tartikoff, the head of programming at NBC during the 1980s, the inspiration for the series came about when NBC executives started complaining about the problems of casting handsome leading men in television series, because many of them couldn't act. Tartikoff and his assistant came up with a concept for a television show called, "The Man of Six Words". Each show would begin with the leading man getting out of a woman's bed and saying, "Thank you". Occasionally, throughout the show, the leading man would say, "Okay", when receiving orders from his boss. Then he would chase down some villains and say "Freeze!" Finally, when the people he had saved from death would thank him, he would say, "You're welcome". For the rest of the show, the car would do all the talking. Although Tartikoff had meant the pitch to be a joke, the NBC executives liked the idea of a television show about a man with a talking car, and approved it for development.
When this show became a hit, and for several years following its cancellation, aftermarket kits were available to add the "scanner eye" to consumer Trans-Am cars of appropriate vintage.
K.A.R.R. - (Knight Automated Roving Robot) (the evil Trans Am), was the prototype for K.I.T.T. But its system had only been programed for self-preservation, whereas K.I.T.T. is programed to preserve human life, its "evil twin" was not. The voice of K.A.R.R. was done by Peter Cullen, who is probably best known as the voice of Optimus Prime of "The Transformers", Cullen has also been voice to "Predator" and Eeyore of "Winnie the Pooh".
According to Car & Driver Magazine, K.I.T.T. was originally intended to be a modified Datsun 280ZX, but General Motors' recently introduced F-Body Firebird Trans Am was substituted in pre-production.
Much of the fan mail written to the series by younger viewers, was addressed to the name Michael Knight. Some of these letters were accidentally sent to actor Michael Knight, who was emerging as a popular cast member of the daytime drama All My Children (1970). Knight subsequently added his middle initial "E" to his screen name to avoid confusion. Interestingly, Michael E. Knight would later marry Catherine Hickland, who played Michael's love interest on this show, and was married to David Hasselhoff at the time of the series.
K.I.T.T. was designed by customizer Michael Scheffe. The convertible and Super Pursuit K.I.T.T.s were designed and built by George Barris.
The second season saw the extensive use of miniatures provided by Jack Sessums for most of the really impossible stuff like jumping over trains, over helicopters, crashing into Goliath and "walking on water". The miniatures of K.I.T.T. were made to 1/8th scale, modified from the existing commercially available Monogram kit of the 1982 Camaro Z-28 to the same scale. Almost everything done involving trains were miniatures built by Sessums and his crew, as it turns out Sessums was a model train enthusiast who had large scale garden railway models already built, and the production crews made a lot of use of these models which for the most part were ready for use. The same model trains were also used in The Fall Guy (1981) and other similar productions of the time.
K.I.T.T., the Knight Industries Two Thousand, was a customized 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. The 1982 model year was the first year of the third-generation (1982-1992) F-bodies (Chevrolet's Camaro and Pontiac's Firebird share the same platform), and was a complete redesign of the second generation.
The logo on the side of the semi-trailer of the truck K.I.T.T. is always seen driving into is a "Knight" chess piece.
In season one, episode two, "Knight of the Phoenix: Part 2", while K.I.T.T. is driving back from the Sheriff's station, the driver is seen hidden in the driver's seat. Before Michael gets into the car, the driver's arm is visible, cleverly hidden with the upholstery.
The narrator of the show's opening credits was Richard Basehart, who played dying benefactor Wilton Knight in the pilot episode, "Knight of the Phoenix: Part 1".
Throughout season one, there is another car that appears regularly besides K.I.T.T. and Devon's Mercedes-Benz convertible. It is a red 1974 (or thereabouts) AMC Gremlin X, possibly one of the crew's personal vehicles. It was never used in a "supporting" role, but only as a vehicular "extra", usually driving away from the camera.
Glen A. Larson got the idea for K.I.T.T. and Knight Rider from watching the movie The Love Bug Rally (1971).
After two successful appearances, producers wanted to do more episodes featuring the truck Goliath and Michael's evil lookalike Garthe Knight. However, David Hasselhoff complained that playing the dual role of Michael and Garthe was too demanding for him.
K.I.T.T. was referred to as a "Black Trans Am" in early episodes of the first season, then later simply as a "Black T-top" for the rest of the series' run.
Glen A. Larson borrowed the idea of K.I.T.T.'s hood mounted scanner from one of his earlier projects, Battlestar Galactica (1978). The Cylon Centurions in that series had an almost identical scanner that functioned as eyes, and Larson adapted the idea for K.I.T.T. Also, originally K.I.T.T. had a square red light on the dashboard that lit up as he spoke. His more familiar "voice modulator", with three red lines broken into cells which went up and down as he spoke, was introduced halfway through the first season.
Michael Knight, formerly Vietnam Army Special Forces Intelligence veteran and Police Detective Lieutenant Michael Long, is noted in the credits and in the first season for being a preferred loner. There is never a mention of his family, parents or siblings, throughout the original series four year run.
Inside the F.L.A.G. (Foundation for Law and Government) truck trailer, in which K.I.T.T parks for repairs, a schematic diagram of a boat can often be seen. It is unknown if this was a concept for K.I.T.T or another F.L.A.G. project, but the design was never physically created in the series.
In the Grand Theft Auto series of games since the release of Grand Theft Auto III (2001), its been a hugely popular modification to add K.I.T.T. to the game. These fan made mods have become so popular, that in 2016, Grand Theft Auto creators have made an official K.I.T.T. style car modification for Grand Theft Auto V (2013) that can be purchased legally. The car is not a one hundred percent replica of K.I.T.T., and has no A.I. voice, Auto Cruise, or Ski Mode, but does include scanner, turbo boost, and weaponry.
The continuation of this show after season four has multiple alternate realities, where the world of Knight Rider ended up, with no connections between the alternate dimensions. The first being what became Knight Rider 2000 (1991), the second being Team Knight Rider (1997), and the third being Knight Rider (2008).
The character of Michael Knight was originally known as Michael Long, a cop who is shot in the desert and left for dead. Recovered by Wilton Knight and Devon Miles of Knight Industries, Mr. Long then undergoes reconstructive plastic surgery on his face. He is given a second chance at life, joining the Knight Industries team donning a new face and identity, he is Michael Knight, the Knight Rider. Other aliases include: Mr. Dugan in season one, episode ten, "Inside Out".
K.I.T.T. appeared in a 2013 commercial for AT&T alongside other well known iconic television and movie A.I. robotics, such as Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Robbie The Robot.
K.I.T.T. is always seen driving into the semi-trailer of the Foundation's truck. The logo seen on its side is a knight chess piece.
K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand) was never shown again in the form of the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am in any spin-off series or movies, apart from the 2008 reboot, where his hood and scanner are seen in the shadows of the garage the Knight Industries Three Thousand was created.
Bollywood movie Patthar Ke Phool (1991) used the Knight Rider theme music in a few scenes. This was done without any authorization. It was also used by the Indian music artist, Panjabi MC, as the bassline for their song, "Mundian To Bach Ke (Beware Of The Boys)"
An original concept was for K.A.R.R. to be white, based on the opposing Knights' colors of chess. The idea was rejected and left black with an alternate color scanner, due to K.A.R.R. being the same type of car used for K.I.T.T., and would require time and cost-consuming paint jobs. It also did not feel right to the producers, that black was good and white was bad, in the colors of the two opposing vehicles.
K.I.T.T.'s voice modulator lights changed after the first season, from a flashing solid red light to the iconic cross style. This was not the only feature to be modified as K.A.R.R. first appeared with a duplicate red scanner and cross, but later was changed to yellow, as well as changing the sides of K.A.R.R. to have a grey stripe from the mid-doors down.
Network executives suggested for season two that K.I.T.T. should fly. The Knight Rider cast and crew rejected the idea, saying it was a stupid idea, of which the show did not need to go in the direction, ruining what Knight Rider was about.
Knight Rider has had three video game adaptations. Knight Rider (1988) for NES, Knight Rider for PC (2003), and Knight Rider 2 (2004).
Quite often the show would use visually similar cars from other famous television shows as villain's vehicles. Most notebly 1969 Dodge Chargers (The Dukes of Hazzard (1979)) and Plymouths (Starsky and Hutch (1975)). Edit: I don't know what the original poster of this trivia entry meant, but Starsky and Hutch rode around in a Ford Gran Torino.
Michael's middle name was Arthur. This was likely an allusion to the Legends of King Arthur in relation to his Knights.
An unmodified 1982 Trans Am was used in Smokey and the Bandit Part 3. The same wheel cover can be seen on both the cars.
Whenever Michael was away from KITT, he would communicate with him through his wristwatch.
The computers, used inside the main console for KITT, were Tandy TRS-80 CoCo's - from Radio Shack, USA - and one of the dual TV monitors on the console, actually displayed a program called 'Audio Spectrum Analyzer' (by Steve Bjork), which was famously used, in the finale for "Revenge of The Nerds" (1984), when the Tri Lambs perform their rap song
Although widely believed to have never appeared on screen during an episode of Knight Rider, William Daniels, the voice of KITT, does appear briefly in the pilot episode as an uncredited car thief.
The Trans Am body is designed for speeds up to 300 mph, meaning the airfoils in KITT's super pursuit mode are unnecessary. A Trans Am with totally standard body proved this at Bonneville during Speed Week. However, KITT's altered configuration gave him greater maneuverability at higher speeds.