8.1/10
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16 user 4 critic

The White Shadow 

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.

Creator:

Bruce Paltrow
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



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 Howard ...  Ken Reeves 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Kevin Hooks ...  Morris Thorpe 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Byron Stewart Byron Stewart ...  Warren Coolidge 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Timothy Van Patten ...  Mario 'Salami' Pettrino 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Joan Pringle ...  Sybil Buchanan 53 episodes, 1978-1981
Thomas Carter ...  James Hayward 42 episodes, 1978-1981
Nathan Cook Nathan Cook ...  Milton Reese 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Ken Michelman Ken Michelman ...  Abner Goldstein 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Ira Angustain Ira Angustain ...  Ricky Gomez 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Erik Kilpatrick Erik Kilpatrick ...  Curtis Jackson 39 episodes, 1978-1980
John Mengatti ...  Nick Vitaglia / ... 34 episodes, 1979-1981
Ed Bernard Ed Bernard ...  Jim Willis / ... 33 episodes, 1978-1980
Russell Phillip Robinson Russell Phillip Robinson ...  Manager Phil Jefferson / ... 25 episodes, 1979-1980
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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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Sport

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herencia de gloria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of the actors playing the Carver players, Nathan Cook was the oldest (28) when the show debuted, only seven years younger than Ken Howard. Timothy Van Patten was the youngest at 19. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ken Reeves: [Coach Reeves has just pulled all of his starting players from a game except his center] I'd pull you too Coolidge but you're so fat, you need to run.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Shawn 2.0 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

The White Shadow Should Have Lasted 10+ Years.
11 July 2005 | by markrickerby1See 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.


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