A familiar road to 'Knight'

Another soap star to topline series

Meet the new Knight Rider.

"All My Children" hunk Justin Bruening is set as the lead in NBC's two-hour backdoor pilot "Knight Rider," a "Transformers"-inspired sequel to the 1980s series, which is slated to air as a movie later in the season.

Bruening will play the son of Michael Knight, the character played by David Hasselhoff in the original series. And like father, like son, the choice of Bruening closely resembles Hasselhoff's casting a quarter-century ago.

Like Bruening, Hasselhoff was a soap star ("The Young & the Restless") with few other credits when he landed "Knight Rider." He was almost the same age as Bruening, who is 28.

Bruening also follows in the footsteps of fellow "Children" alum Josh Duhamel, who made the transition from soap actor to primetime leading man as the star of NBC's "Las Vegas."

Steve Shill is set to direct and co-exec produce "Rider," which was penned by Dave Andron. Doug Liman and Dave Bartis are executive producing for Universal Media Studios and Dutch Oven Prods. Andron serves as supervising producer.

Bruening plays Jamie Martin on "Children" and also had a role on the ABC soap "One Life to Live."