Saturday, October 02, 2010

Random TV Title: The Greatest American Hero

This is a rerun of a 2009 post in tribute to the late Stephen J. Cannell.

Next to THE ROCKFORD FILES, this is probably my favorite Stephen J. Cannell series. Though when I recently rewatched the entire show via Anchor Bay's DVDs, I notice that the quality really started to drop midway through the second season. Perhaps the writing just couldn't keep up with the high concept?

Curly-haired William Katt (CARRIE) starred as mild-mannered L.A. high school teacher Ralph Hinkley, who became a (very) reluctant superhero when he and jingoistic FBI agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp) encountered a flying saucer that bestowed upon Ralph a red costume and cape. With Ralph's lawyer girlfriend Pam Davidson (Connie Sellecca) joining the team, the three teamed up to fight bank robbers, car thieves, arsonists, and occasionally a foreign spy or two.

It's a great premise (the pilot was nominated for a writing Emmy), and the three stars played the hell out of it. Particularly Culp, who is friggin' brilliant all the way through. Apparently he clashed at first with his younger co-stars, but the team had it out, and he, Katt, and Sellecca became friends, which shows in their on-screen chemistry.

THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO was a terrific series (at least for awhile) and one I'm amazed no one has remade yet. Its theme song by Mike Post and Stephen Geyer was performed by Joey Scarbury and shot all the way to #2 on the Billboard charts.


Anonymous said...

Loved that show! For the first season, anyway...

elgringo said...

One of my favorite Seinfeld gags is when George uses this song to create his answering machine message. "Believe it or not, George isn't at home. Please leave a message at the beep."