7.3/10
4,129
63 user 22 critic

The Greatest American Hero 

Trailer
2:01 | Trailer
A teacher is asked to be a superhero using a special alien suit with powers he can barely understand or control.
Reviews
Popularity
1,672 ( 79)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

B.J. and the Bear (1978–1981)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A trucker and his pet chimpanzee travel the highways of America, getting into various adventures and misadventures along the way.

Stars: Greg Evigan, Eric Server, Linda McCullough
The Incredible Hulk (1977–2024)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A fugitive scientist has the curse of becoming a powerful green monster under extreme emotional stress.

Stars: Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, Jack Colvin
Fantasy Island (1977–1984)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Accounts of visitors to a unique resort island in the Pacific Ocean that can fulfill literally any fantasy requested, but rarely turn out as expected.

Stars: Ricardo Montalban, Hervé Villechaize, Christopher Hewett
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A 20th century astronaut emerges out of 500 years of suspended animation into a future time to become Earth's greatest hero.

Stars: Gil Gerard, Erin Gray, Felix Silla
Simon & Simon (1981–1989)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two brothers of disparate tastes and manners run a private detective agency.

Stars: Jameson Parker, Gerald McRaney, Mary Carver
Hart to Hart (1979–1984)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The globe-trotting adventures of amateur detectives Jonathan (Robert Wagner) and Jennifer Hart (Stefanie Powers).

Stars: Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers, Lionel Stander
Whiz Kids (1983–1984)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The adventures of a group of young kids who are amateur computer experts and detectives.

Stars: Matthew Labyorteaux, Todd Porter, Jeffrey Jacquet
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a severely injured test pilot is rebuilt with nuclear-powered bionic limbs and implants, he serves as an intelligence agent.

Stars: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks
Hardcastle and McCormick (1983–1986)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A retired judge and his last defendant follow up on cases that were dismissed due to technicalities.

Stars: Brian Keith, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Joe Santos
The Bionic Woman (1976–1978)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After fully recovering from her nearly fatal bout of bionic rejection, Jaime Sommers, the first female cyborg, is assigned to spy missions of her own.

Stars: Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks
Remington Steele (1982–1987)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The cases of a female private detective partnered with a former thief who assumes the role of a fictitious detective in the business.

Stars: Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, Doris Roberts
Knight Rider (1982–1986)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A lone crimefighter battles the forces of evil with the help of a virtually indestructible and artificially intelligent supercar.

Stars: David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Richard Basehart
Edit

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 / ... 44 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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the pilot when Ralph is taken to a mental hospital wearing his super outfit, a man tells him, "That's a bad suit, Jim!" A similar line ("Say Jim, that's a bad out-FIT!") was said to Christopher Reeve in Superman (1978). See more »

Quotes

Bank Robber: Who are you?
Ralph Hinkley: The tooth fairy.
[punch]
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 Trainwreckords: "Van Halen III" by Van Halen (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The superhero who couldn't fly straight
24 April 2005 | by hcalderon1See all my reviews

I really wish this show was done today, because I just watched it on DVD, and found it incredibly entertaining, and very funny. The story begins with Ralph Hinkley(William Katt) a high school teacher, is lured out in the dessert, comes across FBI Agent Bill Maxwell(Robert Culp) and they are approached by a UFO, and is told they must work together as a team, they give Ralph a suit that has magical powers whenever he wears it. The funny part comes when Ralph loses the instruction book on how to use the suit, he keeps getting in trouble, because he does not use the power too well. But he seems to make the best out of the bad situation. I enjoyed the show, I still wish it was made today.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 63 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed