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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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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:
...  Ralph Hinkley / ... 44 episodes, 1981-1986
...  Bill Maxwell 44 episodes, 1981-1986
...  Pam Davidson / ... 41 episodes, 1981-1986
...  Tony Villicana 30 episodes, 1981-1983
...  Rhonda Blake 28 episodes, 1981-1982
...  Cyler Johnson 21 episodes, 1981-1983
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:

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran héroe americano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

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 two ("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 in 1986). See more »

Quotes

Bill Maxwell: And so we went to NewFOUNDland to make friends with all the whales and a bunch of little fishies
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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 »


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 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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