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The Greatest American Hero 

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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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1,186 ( 5)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



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:
William Katt ...  Ralph Hinkley / ... 44 episodes, 1981-1986
Robert Culp ...  Bill Maxwell 44 episodes, 1981-1986
Connie Sellecca ...  Pam Davidson / ... 42 episodes, 1981-1986
Michael Paré ...  Tony Villicana 30 episodes, 1981-1983
Faye Grant ...  Rhonda Blake 28 episodes, 1981-1982
Jesse D. Goins ...  Cyler Johnson 21 episodes, 1981-1983
Don Cervantes Don Cervantes ...  Paco Rodriguez 20 episodes, 1981-1983
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Storyline

Ralph Hinkley was minding his own business, a teacher on a field trip with his high school students, when the bus he's driving mysteriously drives itself out into the desert. A startled Ralph is soon visited by aliens, who had decided to endow him with superhuman powers to fight the battle against injustice and crime. To this end, they gave him a special suit and an instruction manual. Unfortunately, Ralph managed to lose the instruction manual, and the aliens have a nasty habit of never being around when you need them. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Stephen Cannell Productions

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Greatest American Hero See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (43 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

William Katt said that at the start of the series, he and Robert Culp had difficulties getting along, and working with each other. Katt added they were able to use that to their advantage, as their relationship reflected the one portrayed between their respective characters. Katt and Culp were able to resolve their differences, and actually became good friends over the course of the series. See more »

Quotes

[about a woman who said she saw a sea monster]
Bill Maxwell: She probably thought she saw what she said she thought she saw.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Throughout the show's production, save for the original pilot, the copyright disclaimer toward the end of each episode's credits had an error, spelling the name of the United States as "THE UNTED STATES" See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1986, three years after the series ended, a pilot film entitled "The Greatest American Heroine" was produced which reunited the original series cast. The pilot was not broadcast, so the film was reedited as an episode of "Greatest American Hero" (complete with original opening credits) for syndication. It was also included on the 2005 DVD release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Angels Revenge (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe It or Not
Written by Mike Post & Stephen Geyer
Performed by Joey Scarbury
(theme song)
See more »

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User Reviews

Greatest American TV Series--Coming to the Big Screen?
27 February 2005 | by michaelf95See all my reviews

One of the most under-rated TV shows of all time. I keep hearing rumors about a new movie version. It seems to be in the early days of planning. The old series is now out on DVD (thank ya Lord...). Been waiting' for that for a long time...

Here is my take on who would be great in the new movie version:

Ralp: Steve Zahn. Bill: Billy Bob Thorton. Pam: Jennifer Conelly.

The series only ran from 81-83 and I guess there was a great deal of tension between Cannell and ABC over the creative direction. But Cannell thankfully won and though the series was too short, what was aired is fantastic!

If you've never seen the old series pick up or rent the DVD! Holds up very well despite being 25 years old...


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