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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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853 ( 145)

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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
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 »
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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's real life mother, Barbara Hale, played Ralph's mother Paula Hinkley in a few episodes. 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

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 »

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 »

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User Reviews

Season Three
27 July 2005 | by xallisterxSee all my reviews

After a short first season, and a full length second season, GAH's problems stemming from a lawsuit with DC comics finally brought enough pressure to convince ABC execs to pull the plug.

The Greatest American Hero is one of, if not, the most underrated shows of the 1980's. Slapstick, family friendly humor, and a nod to the comic book crowd.

The third and final season DVD collection includes four episodes that were never aired on ABC (the show went to syndication in the early 90's, and FX did in fact air the four episodes) with guest appearances ranging from Andre the Giant, to Bob Saget, and a strong natural chemistry with William Katt, and Connie Selleca, as well as Robert Culp, who once played Kelly Robinson in the series I Spy.

GAH is highly recommended, not only for adults who grew up with the series, but also their children, it's a refreshing look back at the more wholesome family entertainment that dominated the 1980's culture.


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