The White Shadow (1978–1981)

TV Series  |   |  Drama, Sport
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 696 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.


0Check in

Watch Now

Free at IMDb


Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 19 Oct 2011
a list of 40 titles
created 29 Sep 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 18 Feb 2013
a list of 38 titles
created 09 Jun 2014
a list of 35 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The White Shadow" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The White Shadow (1978–1981)

The White Shadow (1978–1981) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The White Shadow.

User Polls




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... 

Lou Grant (1977–1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The trials of the former TV station manager, turned newspaper city editor, and his journalist staff.

Stars: Edward Asner, Robert Walden, Mason Adams
Trapper John, M.D. (1979–1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Korean War MASH unit veteran operates as Chief Surgeon in a major city hospital with his colleagues.

Stars: Pernell Roberts, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Charles Siebert
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 detective Tony Baretta.

Stars: Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Michael D. Roberts
Hogan's Heroes (1965–1971)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The inmates of a German World War II prisoner of war camp conduct an espionage and sabotage campaign right under the noses of their warders.

Stars: Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer, John Banner
WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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, Howard Hesseman
The Commish (1991–1995)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Slightly offbeat television police comedy/drama. Tony Scali is the police commissioner in a small town, where solutions to difficult situations often require considerable creativity. Tony's... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Chiklis, Theresa Saldana, Kaj-Erik Eriksen
Logan's Run (1977–1978)
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a futuristic society where reaching the age of 30 is a death sentence, a rebellious law enforcement agent goes on the run in search of Sanctuary.

Stars: Gregory Harrison, Heather Menzies-Urich, Donald Moffat
Taxi (1978–1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The staff of a New York City taxicab company go about their job while they dream of greater things.

Stars: Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito
Sanford and Son (1972–1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The misadventures of a cantankerous junk dealer and his frustrated son.

Stars: Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A girl fed up with her quirky, disfunctional family runs away from home, casusing all of them to spend time with eachother.

Director: Joan Micklin Silver
Stars: Griffin Dunne, Dan Futterman, Patricia Kalember
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In contrast to most of the violence-laden "blaxploitation" films of the period, this low-budget effort eschews exploitation for humanity and domestic drama. Leonard Jackson plays a barber ... See full summary »

Director: Oscar Williams
Stars: Godfrey Cambridge, Clarice Taylor, Leonard Jackson


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)
Joan Pringle ...
 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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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 »


Ken Reeves' NBA career is referred to several times in the series, but the number of years and the teams he played on seem to change each time. For instance, he tells reporter Sally Adams in "The Offer" that he was in the Chicago Bulls' starting lineup for 10 seasons. In "Wanna Bet", street hustler Bobby Magum remembers Reeves playing for Chicago, Denver, and Milwaukee. Finally, in "Little Orphan Abner", he tells Abner Goldstein's grandparents he spent the last six years of his career with the Bulls. 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 Psych: Shawn 2.0 (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Abner Goldstein librachashjesu
trivia librachashjesu
How did this show do in the ratings when it originally aired? girlof80s
Golf Episode............ .. roadgame999
analysis of the Carver team librachashjesu
SEASON THREE kingharvest8
Discuss The White Shadow (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: