The oversaturation of the superhero genre in TV, film, and reboots reached an apex and now, a cult classic is making a return as a reboot with The Greatest American Hero, according to Deadline.
The 1981 series was produced by Stephen J. Cannell, who was responsible for some of the biggest TV hits of the 80s. The show is now being reimagined for TV with a female lead now trying to figure out how an alien-engineered supersuit works.
The original show featured Ralph Hinkley, who was played by William Katt as the unlikely hero. After getting the suit, he loses the instructions how to use it. This time, the hero is Meera, an Indian-American woman from Cleveland, who loves to party and karaoke.
The new version of Greatest American Hero will be developed for ABC by Fresh Off the Boat writer-producer Rachna Fruchborn and Nahnatchka Khan. Both will be working with Cannell’s daughter, director Tawnia McKiernan.
The 1981 show starred Katt, Connie Sellecca and Robert Culp. The theme, Believe It or Not, was a hit at no. 2 on the Billboard 100 in 1981, when it was released. While it would be nice to see the old theme put back into use, I suspect we’ll see a cover remix like other reboots like MacGyver or Hawaii Five-O.
20th Century Fox TV, which owns the rights to the 1981 show, did attempted reboots in 2015 and 2016 with different writers, but nothing came of it.
There was an episode in the third season where Ralph did pick a female successor (played by Mary Ellen Stuart) for the suit, which was developed as a pilot for a new show, but was ultimately rejected.
Given the volume of superhero projects out there and how embraced the original series is today, I think it’s about time we see the reboot. I would also like Katt to come back in the late Robert Culp role or at least help pass the torch officially.