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.


3,829 ( 368)

On Disc

at Amazon




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

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A veteran cop with more than 20 years of experience is teamed with a young Inspector to solve crimes in San Francisco.

Stars: Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Reuben Collins
What's Happening!! (1976–1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A trio of black youths learn about life, love, friendship, credit cards, gambling, and a variety of other things while growing up in an inner city.

Stars: Ernest Thomas, Haywood Nelson, Danielle Spencer
Baretta (1975–1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The cases of maverick undercover New York City detective Tony Baretta.

Stars: Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Michael D. Roberts
American Playhouse (TV Series 1981)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The true story of the man who directed the regional headquarters of the NAACP, fought segregation and racist politics and was assassinated for it.

Stars: Edward Herrmann, Robert Minkoff, Deanna Dunagan
Barney Miller (1974–1982)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The captain of a city police station and his staff handle the various local troubles and characters that come to the building.

Stars: Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Steve Landesberg
WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The staff of a struggling radio station have a chance at success after the new programming director changes the format to rock music

Stars: Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson
Good Times (1974–1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A poor Afro-American family make the best of things in the Chicago housing projects.

Stars: BernNadette Stanis, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ.

Directors: George Stevens, David Lean, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Max von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Charlton Heston
Alice (1976–1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A greasy-spoon diner in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for this long-running series. The title character, Alice Hyatt, is an aspiring singer who arrives in Phoenix with her teenaged son, ... See full summary »

Stars: Linda Lavin, Beth Howland, Vic Tayback
Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The lives and trials of a young single woman and her friends, both at work and at home.

Stars: Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod
Tough Guys (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two elderly gangsters are released from prison only to find they have trouble fitting in as old men who still take no guff from anyone.

Director: Jeff Kanew
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charles Durning
Charlie's Angels (1976–1981)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The adventures of three sexy female private eyes.

Stars: Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith


Complete series cast summary:
 Ken Reeves (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
 Morris Thorpe (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
Byron Stewart ...
 Warren Coolidge (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
 Mario 'Salami' Pettrino (54 episodes, 1978-1981)
 Sybil Buchanan (53 episodes, 1978-1981)
 James Hayward (42 episodes, 1978-1981)
Nathan Cook ...
 Milton Reese (40 episodes, 1978-1981)
Ken Michelman ...
 Abner Goldstein (40 episodes, 1978-1981)
Ira Angustain ...
 Ricky Gomez (40 episodes, 1978-1981)
Erik Kilpatrick ...
 Curtis Jackson (39 episodes, 1978-1980)
 Nick Vitaglia / ... (34 episodes, 1979-1981)
Ed Bernard ...
 Jim Willis / ... (33 episodes, 1978-1980)
Russell Phillip Robinson ...
 Manager Phil Jefferson / ... (25 episodes, 1979-1980)


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


Can a straight shooter cut it with this bunch of rough, razor-sharp kids from the street? (season 1) See more »


Drama | Sport





Release Date:

27 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herencia de gloria  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of Jackson never graduated from Carver because he was shot and killed by armed robbers holding up a liquor store, as he tried to talk the robbers into giving up. According to writer Marc Rubin, executive producer Bruce Paltrow originally wanted Jackson to be killed while committing the robbery. See more »


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 »


Jim Willis: You had it easy sonny boy. You'll never know what it's like have to sit in the back of the bus and then give up your seat to a white man or pee in your pants because you can't find a bathroom that'll take you... Now I know a racist when I see one. And I'm looking at one right now.
See more »


Referenced in The Cable Guy (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The White Shadow Should Have Lasted 10+ Years.
11 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I wish The White Shadow would have lasted as long as Saturday Night Live, with a revolving cast of new students every three years. The world needed this show then and needs it even more now.

It boggles my mind why shows like The White Shadow, which addressed the real-life concerns of inner city kids in an intelligent, sensitive, poignant way get canceled while idiotic shows like Married With Children last forever. Kids may pretend they don't need help and guidance, act tough and independent, etc., but they do. This show provided it. It was full of wisdom and insight but was fun and entertaining at the same time. All of the actors were brilliant. It was one of the best ensembles ever put together. I watched a lot of the episodes on TV Land a few years ago and was just as moved and entertained then as I was when I was in high school 20 years ago.

I suppose the reason intelligent shows like this get canceled is because TV is a flawed medium. People surf the channels with their eyes, not their minds, and since the eyes are the most shallow of our receptors, they stop when they see a pair of boobs or graphic violence. This is why the Jerry Springer show keeps on going while intelligent documentaries that redeem and educate us all struggle in obscurity. It's a sad statement about humanity in general. In the final analysis, we get the TV shows we deserve.

If any of the cast or crew of The White Shadow ever read this, THANK YOU for helping me through high school at a time when I had very few sensible role models (like Coach Reeves) or instruction on how to make the tough decisions. Your show provided both without being condescending or preachy. I wish there were more shows like it today.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Best Character !!!deleted!!! (64897046)
How did this show do in the ratings when it originally aired? girlof80s
Golf Episode............ .. roadgame999
Michael Winslow episode- Any thoughts? kamikaze-4
SEASON THREE kingharvest8
walk-ons socdis227
Discuss The White Shadow (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: