The Greatest American Hero, an ’80s television comedy created by Stephen J. Cannell about a high school teacher turned clumsy superhero, is set for a reboot on FOX, according to Deadline.
The pilot will be produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who directed another awesome reboot, 21 Jump Street. Their “street” cred also includes the highly successful The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street. Rodney Rothman, who co-wrote 22 Jump Street, will write the pilot and act as co-executive producer, alongside Cannell’s daughter, Tawnia McKiernan, whose television directing credits include episodes of Leverage, Grimm, Devious Maids, and Bones.
The original The Greatest American Hero show was about high school teacher Ralph Hinckley (William Katt), who finds a red suit in the desert after an alien encounter. The suit has special powers. Mr. H (changed the 1st season because of the Reagan assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr.) immediately loses the instructions, but teams up with crazy FBI agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp) to fight crime. Because he doesn’t know how to use the suit, he is a bumbling superhero, and hilarity ensues. The show ran for three seasons from 1981-1983 on ABC.
The new show will have some differences. Isaac, an inner city teacher, also finds a suit and loses the instructions, but will clash with a government handler, who has a very different agenda. He also has the Peter Parker inner conflict — use his power to better his life or the life of others. Let’s hope he has his own Uncle Ben to steer him towards the right path.
The Greatest American Hero has snuck into modern TV in small ways. The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon (Jim Parsons) wore a GAH tee on Season 7, Episode 1: â€œThe Hofstadter Insufficiency.” Firefly and Castle star Nathan Fillion in an interview with Flickcast said he would want to play William Katt’s superhero. In Seinfeld‘s “The Susie,” George’s (Jason Alexander) answering machine message is a parody he did of the theme song. And Peter Griffin (Seth MacFarlane) in Family Guy‘s “The Man With Two Brains” attempts a Jackass-like stunt wearing Katt’s costume and singing the theme song before he crashes into a tree.
So, who would you cast in the remake?
Here’s the original intro complete with awesome song, “Believe it or Not,” sung by Joey Scarbury. I still know all the words.
The original pilot:
George’s answering machine message: