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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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2,255 ( 17)

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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Stars: Claude Akins, Brian Kerwin, Mills Watson
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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:

El gran héroe americano 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

The shows theme song was sung by Joey Scarbury and released as a single, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Charts during the summer of 1981. See more »

Quotes

Bill Maxwell: She may be your girlfriend but she's my counselor and nobody messes with her. That's it.
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Pumaman (1998) 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

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.


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