Another TV classic from the 1980s is getting a TV reboot, but this particular project will have a unique gender twist. ABC has issued a put pilot commitment for a reboot of The Greatest American Hero, which will have a female lead character in a gender-swapping twist. The new hero will not only be a woman, but an Indian-American woman, with the show coming from the company that produces the hit ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat.
Deadline reports that the series will center on a 30-year-old Indian-American woman named Meera, who lives in Cleveland. Her few talents revolve around drinking tequila and karaoke, before a group of aliens entrust her with a superhero suit that gives her incredible powers, tasking her with protecting the planet. This report from Deadline doesn't offer any insight on the supporting characters at this time, but the original series starred William Katt as the title character, a teacher named Ralph Hinkley, with Robert Culp also starring as FBI agent Bill Maxwell and Connie Sellecca as lawyer Pam Davidson.
The original series was created by Stephen J. Cannell, airing for three seasons on ABC between 1981 and 1984. The show's iconic theme song, "Believe It Or Not," may have been even more successful than the show itself. The theme song, composed by iconic 1980s TV composer Mike Post with lyrics by Stephen Geyer, was sung by Joey Scarbury, reaching the #2 spot on the Billboard 100 singles charts in 1981. It isn't clear who will be involved with the theme song quite yet, but given how iconic the original song was, it will likely make headlines when announced, that is, if the show gets a series order. However, with a put pilot commitment, where the network would be forced to pay penalties to the producers if the show isn't picked up, it seems likely that a series order will happen.
Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan from ABC's Fresh off the Boat will both produce through their Fierce Baby production company, which is based at 20th Century Fox Television, with Fruchbom writing the pilot script. They will both serve as executive producers alongside Mandy Summers and Tawnia McKiernan, the latter of which is the daughter of Stephen J. Cannell, and now a veteran TV director. It isn't explicitly stated in this report, but it's possible that Tawnia McKiernan could direct the pilot script. Fruchbom previously wrote and produced for Parks and Recreation before making the move to Fresh off the Boat, which was created and executive produced by Nahnatchka Khan.
20th Century Fox Television previously tried to reboot this 1980s series twice over the past two years, with different writers brought on each time. Both of those incarnations were produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, alongside Tawnia McKiernan, so it will be interesting to see how this incarnation of The Greatest American Hero comes together. This is also the third put pilot commitment issued this year, following an ensemble romantic comedy written by Billy Finnegan, which Fox ordered, and the comedy series Revival, from Sally Bradford McKenna. Take a look at the video below for a montage of scenes set to the original show's iconic theme song.