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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1986   1983   1982   1981  
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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!


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Details

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Release Date:

18 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran héroe americano  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (43 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially, Pam was only going to be featured in the pilot episode. As a recurring gag, Ralph was going to have a different girlfriend in each episode. Connie Selleca impressed the producers so much with her performance, that she was made a regular on the series. See more »

Quotes

Bill Maxwell: C'mon... You'll do it for Bill. Old Uncle Bill. Old Uncle Wild Bill. Who loves ya, baby? Eh?
Pam Davidson: You're over-doing it "Uncle Bill"
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Slime People (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe It or Not
Written by Mike Post & Stephen Geyer
Performed by Joey Scarbury
(theme song)
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User Reviews

Good idea...series not pretentious......some spoilage.....don't cry.
18 March 2000 | by (Floyd Montana) – See all my reviews

THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO is the story of a average guy who gets handed the responsibility of being a superhero when his life is falling apart; he's getting a divorce, he doesn't have enough time to spend with his son, he's having girlfriend problems, he has problems on the job, and he has a FBI agent who wants to use his new found powers to fight commies. This is a great premise and actually, the pilot was not that bad. ROBERT CULP is Bill Maxwell, a tough as nails, "so patriotic he can't see straight" FBI agent who sets out to avenge his partners death. WILLIAM KATT is a school teacher who takes a wrong turn in the desert and both he and Maxwell stumble onto these aliens and Maxwell's dead partner who give him a alien supersuit to fight crime. The problem is the teacher looses the instruction book in the desert and can't figure out the suit's basic functions. (ie. he keeps slamming into buildings as he trys to fly.) The series was a semi spoof on SUPERMAN, with a down to earth twist. The show never took itself too seriously and was for the most part well done up until the last season.....things lagged on that one. The series was the brainchild of STEPHEN J. CANNELL...a LA tv tychoon who suffers from dyslexia, yet, has managed to be a force to be reckoned with in hollywood. I hear his pitch sessions are incredible.


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