Bring Greatest American Hero Home!

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 The Greatest American Hero - The Complete Series (free Cape and Notebook included!)

 The Greatest American Hero - Season One

 The Greatest American Hero - Season Two

 The Greatest American Hero - Season Three


Show Type: Adventure

First Telecast: March 18, 1981

Last Telecast: February 3, 1983

Theme Music: "The Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)," by Mike Post and Stephen Geyer; sung by Joey Scarbury

Broadcast History:

March 1981 - May 1981, Wednesday 8:00-9:00 on ABC

August 1981 - August 1982, Wednesday 8:00-9:00 on ABC

September 1982 - November 1982, Friday 9:00-10:00 on ABC

January 1983 - February 1983, Thursday 8:00-9:00 on ABC


Ralph Hinkley (Hanley)..... William Katt

Bill Maxwell..... Robert Culp

Pam Davidson..... Connie Sellecca

Tony Villicana..... Michael Pare

Rhonda Blake..... Faye Grant

Cyler Johnson..... Jesse D. Goins

Rodriguez..... Don Cervantes

Kevin Hinkley (1981)..... Brandon Williams


This superhero parody was beset by trouble practically from the time it premiered. First, the owners of the Superman copyright threatened to sue, charging that the program had stolen their character. Then a man with the same last name as the hero made a real-life assassination attempt on the President of the United States, causing scripts to be hurriedly rewritten. Then the ratings started to fall.

Superman advocates may have cried "Thief!," but others suggested that the program was more of a steal from Mr. Terrific and Captain Nice, two bumbling superhero shows of the mid-1960's. Ralph Hinkley was a curly-haired young high-school teacher in Los Angeles, who was set upon by extraterrestrial beings while on a field trip into the desert. The aliens presented him with an incredible red flying suit, which, when donned, gave him (and only him) the ability to fly. A neurotic FBI agent, Maxwell, convinced Ralph to use the suit to help him fight crime. Unfortunately, Ralph promptly lost the instruction book for the suit, and had to spend succeeding episodes flailing about in the air trying to master aerodynamics while crashing into walls and plummeting into bushes. He also discovered other powers of the suit - often at inopportune time - such as the power to become invisible, and the power to see at great distances and through solid walls.

The only adult besides Ralph and Maxwell who knew of the suit's powers was Ralph's girlfriend, attorney Pam Davidson (kids knew - but who would believe them?) . Anybody else who came upon Ralph while he was trying to jump off a roof in his red jammies just naturally assumed he was crazy.

Kevin was Ralph's young son by a former marriage; Tony, Rhonda, Cyler, and Rodriguez were street-tough students in Ralph's remedial education class. The students shared many of Ralph's adventures during the 1981-1982 season, but were phased out the following season, as Ralph and Pam were finally married. As for Ralph's last name, it was abruptly changed to "Mr. H" (sometimes "Mr. Hanley") for a time after the John Hinckley (with a "c") made an attempt on the life President Reagan on March 30, 1981. Eventually it reverted back to Hinkley.

The theme song of this series was a major hit for Joey Scarbury during the summer of 1981.