The White Shadow (1978–1981)

TV Series  -   -  Drama | Sport
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 598 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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Episodes

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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:

Beyaz gölge  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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 Mystery Science Theater 3000: Master Ninja I (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Show Ahead of its Time
7 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Count me among the many others who loved this show. As an 11 year old kid who ate, drank and slept sports, this show was one of the best things going. As a young adult, I viewed it with the same love but with a much different perspective. The White Shadow featured a racially mixed inner city basketball team coached by a caucasian former pro player and current phys. ed. teacher named Ken Reeves. At first viewed as an outsider unable to relate to a group of city kids, he gradually wins their trust. The show tackled sensitive issues in an honest, believable manner and dealt with the often grim realities facing both kids and teachers in an inner city setting. The basketball action was also very well done- impressive considering many feature films depicting athletics show actors trying unconvincingly to play or compete.

It is hard to believe this show is nearly 30 years old. The subject matter on The White Shadow could easily be depicted today- things change and yet they stay the same. Sadly, this is yet another show that didn't last long that nonetheless was both entertaining and worthwhile on so many levels.

Today, I am a high school teacher and coach partly because of the influence this show had on me personally. I really wish we could turn back the clock and get shows of this quality and long term impact again.


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