The White Shadow (1978–1981)

TV Series  -   -  Drama | Sport
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 608 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

A white former NBA professional retires from the pro game and gets a job as a basketball coach in a predominantly black inner-city high school.

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3   2   1  
1981   1980   1979   1978  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Ken Reeves (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
...
 Morris Thorpe (50 episodes, 1978-1981)
Byron Stewart ...
 Warren Coolidge (50 episodes, 1978-1981)
...
 Mario 'Salami' Pettrino (50 episodes, 1978-1981)
Joan Pringle ...
 Sybil Buchanan (48 episodes, 1978-1981)
...
 James Hayward (38 episodes, 1978-1981)
Nathan Cook ...
 Milton Reese (36 episodes, 1978-1981)
Ken Michelman ...
 Abner Goldstein (36 episodes, 1978-1981)
Ira Angustain ...
 Ricky Gomez (36 episodes, 1978-1981)
Erik Kilpatrick ...
 Curtis Jackson (35 episodes, 1978-1980)
...
 Nick Vitaglia (32 episodes, 1979-1981)
Ed Bernard ...
 Jim Willis (29 episodes, 1978-1980)
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Storyline

Ken Reeves was a professional basketball player who had to retire because of injuries. Against his sister Katie's advice, Ken takes a job as the basketball coach at Carver High School in Los Angeles, a tough, mixed-race school. Jim Willis, Ken's friend, was the principal for the first two seasons and was replaced by Sybil Buchanan, the former vice-principal, in the third year. Written by J.E. McKillop <jack-mckillop@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

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Details

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Release Date:

27 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herencia de gloria  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Kevin Hooks, the decision to cancel the show was made abruptly after 15 episodes of Season 3. At least three episodes remain unaired, one in which he was to make his directorial debut, and two others which were to be centered around the characters of Jesse Mitchell (Stoney Jackson) and Eddie Franklin (Art Holliday). See more »

Goofs

At the end of the following episodes, "Wanna Bet?" and "That Old Gang of Mine". The roman numeral of the year 1979 at the end of the credits, was MCMLXXVIX. There was confusion of that because, the "V" should've been removed. The remaining first season episodes were finalized as MCMLXXIX, which was 1979 when the "V" was deleted. See more »

Quotes

Harold: [after Ken Reeves has done a student reporter a favor] Did you do that as a reward for me writing a positive article?
Ken Reeves: No, I expect to get raked over the coals the next time we lose.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cable Guy (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Only three years?!!?
30 January 2002 | by (Bedford, PA) – See all my reviews

Good television does not just entertain but make you wonder. This show makes me wonder several things...

* Why did it take another 20 years for executives to find another good series for Ken Howard?

* Why did this show survive only three years while CBS allowed "Alice", "One Day At A Time", "The Jeffersons" and "All In The Family" to die pathetically three years after they stopped being entertaining?

* Who makes these decisions, anyhow?

This was by far one of the best shows ever. Set in an inner city, the directors worked hard to make it realistic. And they did. Jackson got killed. Thorpe and Coolidge got herpes from the same woman. Reese fell victim to an unscrupulous high school coach. Salami had an affair with a teacher. Hayward's cousin died of a drug overdose. Goldstein struggled with his faith. Coach Reeves struggled with the death of a player during practice. Gomez joined a gang. The show's honesty and wonderful direction and script was so good it was even played on public television in some areas.

Coach Reeves mentored the kids, but never patronized them or tried to be "down" with them. His attitude was "Believe it or not, I've been where you are. So I'll offer you my advice. You can take it or not, but you will have to live with the results either way, so choose carefully." And Reeves also learned from the kids and they learned from each other.

It was a show with limitless potential, but was on a network with limited vision. Pity.


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