The Greatest American Hero: New Comics, Animated Lost Episode, and Movie — Believe It or Not!

Greatest American HeroWatch the skys and look out birds! The Greatest American Hero, the hit show from the 1980s, is about to make a comeback.

The Greatest American Hero premiered on March 18, 1981 on ABC and was an immediate success. In the series, William Katt plays Ralph Hinkley, an ordinary special education teacher who’s given an alien-made supersuit with powers he never quite masters, having accidentally lost the instruction manual. Robert Culp co-stars as gung-ho FBI agent Bill Maxwell and Connie Selleca plays attorney Pam Davidson, Ralph’s love interest. The show aired for three seasons and balanced the comedy of Ralph’s situation with the team’s crime-fighting exploits. Believe It or Not, the show’s catchy theme-song, spent 18 weeks on Billboard’s Top 40 list.

Riding a wave of nostalgic show revivals, The Greatest American Hero is being resurrected in a big way — as a comic book, a series of animated web shorts, and a feature film.

Katt has launched a publishing company called Catastrophic Comics which, in conjunction with Arcania Studios, is releasing a new comic based on the show. Katt is writing the comic series himself. He told Newsarama, “The initial three books will be a re-telling of the origin story from the two-hour pilot, although we’ve taken some liberties.” The changes include setting the story in modern day, less focus on Ralph’s teaching job, he’ll no longer have a son, and his infamously curly locks will be shorter.

Greatest American HeroKatt continued, “After the initial three issues, we’re going to explore some new stories, probably picking up where the seasons left off. We’d like to play with it a little bit and branch it off a little bit. There will be other villains in subsequent stories. And we might have some guest writers in the future.” The comic series is expected to debut in November.

Ralph and company are also coming to the web — in a series four-minute of animated shorts. The Flash animations will act as a “lost episode” of the series and fill in a gap between the first and second seasons. Katt, Culp, and Selleca will be voicing their familiar roles from the series. At San Diego’s Comic-Con International, Katt teased, “We’re going to use the suit in a new way that you’ve never seen before.”


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There’s also been a feature film in the works for awhile now. Series creator and producer Stephen J. Cannell has written a script which Katt calls “fantastic.” Stephen Herek is signed to direct the movie and Cannell has funding in place. He’s currently in talks with 20th Century Fox and Steven Spielberg’s company about distribution. Though the main roles will be filled with younger actors, the show’s cast will surely make cameos. Katt joked, “[Cannell’s] not making it without us.” Filming is expected to begin in 2009.

The renewed interest in the 1980s series comes as a result of strong DVD sales. Judging from the response to the announcements of the new projects at Comic-Con, this could be the greatest American revival — believe it or not. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

Canceled and renewed TV show

7 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Scott says


  2. hall442 says

    I’d rather see the original actors more involved. If Ralph’s character passes on the suit, fine. So be it. I’d MUCH rather see that than another doomed “re-envisioning” of the whole concept. Re-envisioning SUCKS.

  3. Anonymous says

    This was the best TV show when i was a kid,i kinda felt like Ralph in that I felt IF i had the powers i’d go out and try to save the world 1 crime at a time.It made the whole “superhero” gig as real as it could be.I loved Katts acting sooo much and use to watch Robert culp in the Tv show “I Spy” so i reallly love his acting too and the both made an Awesome pair.I reallly hope they do good with the movie,its something i’ve been waitting for since 85.Connie Selleca is a good actress too and need i have to add “Freaking HOT! Katt did appare in the first 2 episodes of NBC’s Heros I wish nothing but the best for them,Godbless guys i love you!:) Thanks for all the Hard Work that went into making the show and now something NEW!

  4. william says

    I can safely say this…that was the best portrayal of a superhero I have ever seen…(next to someone’s favorite dad). I mean, if u were an average american suddely “thrusted” with a suit, a new friend and a purpose, would u be as “well executed” in your duty as, maybe, Superman? Or even Batman? Sure, there are stories of them when they were not so good, but this was more real at the idea….! Stellar tv. It’s a darn shame nothing like this is on tv anymore. RATS!!!

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