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Knight Rider Order Cut from 21 to 17 Episodes + Ratings Analysis

knightrider-102608This could be the end of the road for Knight Rider.  On Wednesday, NBC informed the cast and crew that the 17th episode will be the show’s last of the season.  The cutback in episodes suggests that despite a planned overhaul–with changes to be reflected in upcoming episodes–this is likely the beginning of the end for the series. Back in October, NBC awarded the show with a surprising full-season order despite only average numbers.

Knight Rider premiered September 24th with a 4.5/7 household rating/share, 7.35 million viewers and a 2.5/7 rating/share among adults 18-49.  The show improved upon its premiere numbers two times: in week two (4.7/8 household rating/share and 7.77 million viewers) and in week four (4.7/8 household rating/share and 7.47 million viewers).  It’s premiere performance among adults 18-49 has never been duplicated.

When the show was picked up for a full-season, four episodes had already aired.  Those four episodes averaged a 4.5 household rating/share, 7.36 million viewers and a 2.4/7 rating/share among adults 18-49.  After the pickup, another four episodes aired and the results have not at all been good: 3.6 household rating/share, 5.72 million viewers and a 1.7/5 rating/share among adults 18-49.  That’s a decline of 20% among households, 22% (-1.64M) among viewers and 29% among adults 18-49.

The most recent airing tied a series low among adults 18-49 (1.5 rating) and was at series low levels among households (3.3 rating–series low is a 3.2) and viewers (5.20 million–series low is 5.12 million).  Overall, Knight Rider has averaged a 4.1/7 household rating/share, 6.54 million viewers and a 2.0/6 rating/share among adults 18-49 through eight episodes.

Note: I originally incorrectly stated that the show had been reduced from 22 episodes to 17.  It’s actually 21 to 17 (it was originally given a 21-episode commitment, not 22).  The mistake has been corrected.