Greatest American Hero returns to TV with a pilot order at ABC. The half-hour, single-camera comedy will center on Meera, a 30-year-old Indian-American woman who comes into possession of an alien super-suit. Meera then transforms from a regular woman who loves tequila and karaoke to a reluctant - and somewhat clueless - superhero.
The original Greatest American Hero ran for just three seasons from 1981 to 1983. William Katt starred as Ralph Hinkley, a substitute teacher who on a field trip encountered a group of aliens who gifted him a super suit. But hilariously, he lost the instructions! Hinkley then became a crime fighter aided by FBI agent Robert Culp and attorney Connie Sellecca. Much of the show's comedy derived from Hinkley struggling to control his super powers. The show's heroic theme song "Believe it Or Not" went on to become a legitimate hit, climbing to #2 on the pop charts. ABC's revival, starring a gender swapped hero, was announced last September.
TVLine reports that ABC has now taken the next step and ordered Greatest American Hero to pilot. Rachna Fruchbom (Fresh Off the Boat) will write and produce. Nahnatchka Khan serves as executive producer.
The reboot will keep the original show's premise of a hapless hero growing into her powers. A character description of the show's gender-swapped lead notes: “Meera may have finally found purpose, but the world has never been in more unreliable hands.” The comedy should have a fresher, more up-to-date perspective however. The creative team of Fruchbom and Khan broke ground with Fresh Off the Boat, the first American sitcom starring an Asian-American family since Margaret Cho's short-lived 1994 series All American Girl.
Interestingly, this is not the first time a Greatest American Hero reboot has received a pilot order. In 2015, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller planned to reboot the series at Fox. The network got all the way to ordering a pilot directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope). Obviously, that reboot attempted ended up stalling. Lord and Miller unfortunately have a lot of experience with failing to see through projects involving iconic '80s characters.
With Greatest American Hero, revival mania continues to hold sway over the minds of television executives. Just this week, CBS announced plans to revive Murphy Brown with Candice Bergen. Charmed also reportedly will return to the CW. Reports persist of an Office reboot happening at NBC. In March, ABC brings Roseanne back from the dead, with the Conner family gone over to the dark side. In recent years, The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Gilmore Girls, Will & Grace and Full House have all returned to screens after long hiatuses. Maybe we'll still get that Airwolf reboot.