Cult TV

The Greatest American Hero female led reboot is coming (again!)

According to Deadline, ABC have ordered a 30 minute pilot that will be a reboot of The Greatest American Hero. The show will follow Meera, a 30-year-old Indian-American woman from Cleveland, “whose talents include tequila drinking and karaoke and not much else. Then some aliens entrust her with a super suit to protect the planet, and the world has never been in more unreliable hands.”

This is not the first time someone has tried to reboot The Greatest American Hero with a female lead. Back in 1986 the original principal cast reunited for a pilot movie called The Greatest American Heroine. Unfortunately the show was not picked up for a series but it was re-edited as an episode of the original series (complete with original opening credits and theme), and added to syndication sets of the original series, for which it is the final episode. Immediately after the beginning credits, the episode’s title card is superimposed over a nighttime view of the Los Angeles skyline, reading “The Greatest American Hero” before appending the letters “i n e” individually to the sound of the NBC chimes. The chimes were a nod to NBC and its president, Brandon Tartikoff, who wanted the show revived.

The pilot movie reveals that several years after the final episode, Ralph’s secret identity was finally revealed to the public, resulting in him becoming a celebrity. This angers the aliens who gave him the suit, and they charge him with finding a new hero to wear the costume and use its powers for fighting evil. Once the transfer is made, they explain, all memory of Ralph’s exploits will be purged from the world’s memory and remembered only by Ralph, Pam, and Bill.

Bill begins their search by researching people with desired hero qualities, but Ralph finds a young woman named Holly Hathaway (Mary Ellen Stuart), an elementary school teacher who spends her off-hours time looking for lost kittens, raising environmental awareness, and serving as a foster mother. Bill, Pam, and Ralph meet in the desert, where Ralph tell Bill about Holly. He reacts visibly to his new partner being a “skirt” before Holly arrives, flying in wearing a new version of the suit made for her, and she pledges to help Bill. The original trio say their final farewells, and even the stoic Maxwell reveals his true emotions as he says goodbye to Ralph and calling Pam a trooper – “…one of the best!” Holly reacts emotionally to the fond farewells, but breaks the somber mood as she accidentally pulls the door off of Bill’s sedan.

The rest of the episode deals with her learning how to use the suit with Bill Maxwell’s guidance, and the pair trying to develop a working relationship. It ends with Holly talking to her foster daughter about Bill, saying he is a good person; Bill, overhearing what she says about him, speaks into a recorder he uses as his “diary” to suggest that maybe she is the right person to wear the suit after all.

Another female version appeared in 2008 when an approved fan series appeared online which featured the further adventures of the original trio (played by new actors: Allen Rueckert  as Ralph, Morgan Snyder as Pam, and Don Stark as Maxwell) alongside Brittany Ross as Ashley Rizzo a cheerleader at Ralph’s school who finds Ralph’s suit and becomes his side kick:

 

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