Even though it was cancelled, you probably think that NBC's Knight Rider was a ground-breaking premise that changed the face of television as we know it. You might even think, "Why can't more shows have wall-to-wall action with talking cars?" Surely, Mad Men could have used it. Or the local news reports about those trapped Chilean miners.
It turns out, though, that television has had a long tradition of using "talking" inanimate objects whether it was Kitt from the original Knight Rider, that alien vase from Small Wonder or Balki from Perfect Strangers. This time around, though, the voice of Kitt is supplied by Val Kilmer. Even though the show was cancelled, NBC has already ordered dozens of pilots with talking objects voiced by famous actors. Take a look at their synopses.
1. Golden Bistro
Premise: Michael Vartan plays Sam Markus, a successful hedge fund manager who lives in the lap of luxury. But when his grandmother commits suicide (by sticking her head in her oven), Markus decides to move to Los Angeles and open a French Bistro (to honor his grandmother's dream). Imagine his surprise when he discovers that his grandmother's soul (voice of Betty White) is in his oven!
(When Sam walks in on Grandma and her delivery boy boyfriend, Chuck): "Oy! Thanks, Junior. My pilot light just went out... and I was all almost pre-heated!"
2. Patent Pending
Premise: Gym teacher and part-time inventor Roy Schneider (Dennis Franz) has fallen on hard times. His wife just left him for a rival gym teacher (who lives in the townhouse above them!), he owes his bookie over $20,000, and he hasn't invented anything for the upcoming Inventor's Ball. On the eve of the competition, lightning strikes Roy as he fixes his toilet.
When Roy regains consciousness the next morning, he finds that his toilet is a conduit to the mind of Stephen Hawking. With Roy's charm and Hawking's brains, they might just make the perfect man. Will Hawking teach Roy to be responsible? Will the sexy next door neighbor (Elisha Cuthbert) ever see Hawking as more than just a receptacle for excrement? It's an updated Cyrano for the 21st Century.
3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties
Quote: "To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit. (toilet flushes) Also, Whooooooooosh!"
Premise: This Saturday morning cartoon follows the misadventures of four teenage girls who happen upon an enchanted vibrator (with voice of Andy Rooney!) just before they split up for summer vacation. After making a pact to send "Randy Andy" to each other over the course of the summer vacation, they each learn the dangers of promiscuity and sexuality... then die.
Special Note: This program is funded entirely by the GOP's abstinence-only education program.
Quote (from "Randy Andy" at the end of each episode): "I see all kinds of vaginas. Big and small ones. Ones with hair. Ones without hair. Why do we need so many of these things? There's too many vaginas in the world today, if you ask me."