New Line Television
Hard Knox isn't a household name just yet, but New Line Television, the distributor of the fall 2001 action hour, believes it will knock down viewers' doors.
"We understand how to develop franchises and brands," says Bob Friedman, president of New Line Television, and co-chair of New Line Cinema in charge of worldwide marketing. "We've done it in film whether it's the Turtles or Austin Powers, and we've done it in television with The Lost World."
The show stars Melrose Place
alum Thomas Calabro (as Steve Ford) and real-life championship kickboxer Kim-Maree Penn (Niki Knox), who set out to avenge the death of her father, played by Six Million DollarMan
Lee Majors. Niki's dad, who co-owned an investigative agency with his daughter, regularly appears in the series as a spirit. Eventually, Steve develops a Moonlightingish attraction to Niki, his new boss at her agency.
Admittedly, "we're creating Hard Knox
from scratch, but we think that it has what it takes to become a branded franchise," says Friedman. "We've borrowed from the credibility of the things that people know. Credibility is what you get when you have someone who is very popular from MelrosePlace
or when you have a Lee Majors, who has a big fan base from his days at Six Million Dollar Man."
In another surge of familiarity for Hard Knox, the series has named Colin Gibson as its art director, who last performed that same job for the film The Matrix. Jeff Hayes ( The Lost World
and Beastmaster) will be executive-producing Hard Knox, with Peter Bloomfield directing.
Show: Hard Knox
Studio/Distributor: Southern Star John Edwards in association with Coote-Hayes Productions/New Line Television
Debut: Fall 2001