The Greatest American Hero (1981–1983)

TV Series  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
7.3
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Reviews: 55 user | 26 critic

A teacher is asked to be a superhero using a special alien suit with powers he can barely understand or control.

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Episodes

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3   2   1  
1986   1983   1982   1981  
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Ralph Hinkley / ... (44 episodes, 1981-1986)
...
 Bill Maxwell (44 episodes, 1981-1986)
...
 Pam Davidson / ... (41 episodes, 1981-1986)
Don Cervantes ...
 Paco Rodriguez (23 episodes, 1981-1983)
...
 Rhonda Blake (22 episodes, 1981-1982)
...
 Tony Villicana (21 episodes, 1981-1983)
...
 Cyler Johnson / ... (19 episodes, 1981-1983)
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Storyline

A pair of strangers, liberal high-school teacher Ralph Hinkley and right-wing FBI agent Bill Maxwell, have a close encounter in the Southern California desert one night with "little green men", who give our heroes a red superhero suit. The suit works only for Ralph, and the two, accompanied by Ralph's cute lawyer girlfriend Pam, reluctantly team up to battle criminals. Problems ensue when Ralph loses the suit's instruction book, so he had to master the suit's powers on his own. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What America needs is a super hero. What America got was Ralph Hinkley!


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Details

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Release Date:

18 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran héroe americano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (43 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ralph's surname was changed near the end of the first season from Hinkley to Hanley because of the name's negative connection with John Hinckley (the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in an assassination attempt on March 30, 1981). Ralph's last name was changed back to Hinkley in the first episode of Season 2 ("The Two Hundred Mile an Hour Fastball"), after the furor over his name subsided. Interestingly enough, the unaired 1986 "Greatest American Heroine" pilot includes a scene in which Ralph Hinkley meets the President of the United States (who was still Ronald Reagan in real-life 1986). See more »

Quotes

Bill Maxwell: You're about as religious as a Las Vegas nightclub owner.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits of the pilot "Greatest American Heroine", the three-note NBC theme is heard as the letters "i-n-e" appear one at a time on screen. (An in-joke as NBC was the network the series was being pitched to at the time) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe It or Not
Written by Mike Post & Stephen Geyer
Performed by Joey Scarbury
(theme song)
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User Reviews

heartwarming
10 April 2004 | by (Mufreesboro, Tennessee) – See all my reviews

I can still recall, quite fondly, watching the pilot episode of The Greatest American Hero. It can be corny and silly at times... but it was also humorous, warm, and uplifting. A group of people suddenly thrown into a situation where they have to "save the world". And working together (more or less :) ) they do it. From saving little kids, freezing in the wilderness to "baggin' bad guys" on the streets of L.A. My life is pretty dull and uneventful... oh but what I wouldn't do if suddenly >I< had a super suit. And while I'm old and getting gray now... I still dream, every now and again, of flying around in the sky... (and over the years I've gotten better at landing on my feet). Ralph wasn't the best... but he always gave it the old team try. You gotta love him for that!


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