Hannah Simone of New Girl fame has landed the lead role in ABC’s reboot pilot for The Greatest American Hero. Coming from Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off The Boat), this new take on the series reinvents its lead character as an Indian-American woman. Also, unlike the original series which was an hour long, this new take is a half-hour series.
Here’s how Deadline describes the lead role this time around:
The Greatest American Hero centers around Meera (Simone), a 30-year-old woman who loves tequila and karaoke and has spent her life searching and failing to find meaning, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian-American family. An inexplicable event occurs that will change the course of Meera’s life forever: she is entrusted with a super suit to protect the planet. Meera may have finally found purpose, but the world has never been in more unreliable hands.
The original Greatest American Hero aired from 1981-1983 on ABC and was created by the prolific Stephen J. Cannell. William Katt starred as the lead character, Ralph Hinkley, who was given a suit that gave him powers yet lost the instruction manual. Assisting Katt on the original series was Robert Culp in a great turn as an FBI agent named Bill Maxwell. The show’s largest contribution to pop culture was its theme song, “Believe It Or Not” by Joey Scarbury, which hit #2 on the Billboard Top 100 charts.
This is not the first time a reboot of the series has been attempted: In 1986, a “Greatest American Heroine” pilot presentation was created where the suit was given to a young woman played by Mary Ellen Stuart. It didn’t go to series, but the pilot was expanded into a full episode that is part of the show’s syndication package. At one point, a Greatest American Hero reboot was in the works for FOX from Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie) as well.
This version of the series is in the running for a space on ABC’s 2018-2019 schedule. The network will be making their decisions in May.