ABC has found The Greatest American Hero, casting New Girl star Hannah Simone as the lead character Meera. With the New Girl final season debuting in April, Hannah Simone was one of the most sought-after actresses this pilot season, with this report revealing that she was fielding numerous offers before choosing The Greatest American Hero pilot.
Hannah Simone will be playing a 30-year-old Indian-American woman named Meera, who has a penchant for karaoke and imbibing tequila, and often finds herself at odds with her traditional Indian-American family, as she searches for purpose in her life. She finds just that when she encounters a group of aliens who entrust her with a superhero suit, which gives her incredible powers, as these aliens task this woman with protecting the planet from her home in Cleveland. ABC issued a "put pilot" commitment for this female reboot, which means the network must pay the producers a significant penalty if the show doesn't make it to the small screen. A put pilot commitment is often seen as a near-guarantee for a series order.
This news comes just a few weeks after ABC issued a pilot order, and while we've known for some time that this show would follow an Indian-American character named Meera, no details have been given yet for the supporting characters. Now that the title role has been filled, we should be hearing more about the other characters set to populate this series very soon, as pilot season starts heating up. The pilot script will be written by Rachna Fruchbom, who will executive produce alongside Nahnatchka Khan. Rachna Fruchbom currently writes for ABC's Fresh Off the Boat, which Nahnatchka Khan created. They will both executive produce alongside Mandy Summers and Tawnia McKiernan, with 20th Century Fox Television, where Khan's Fierce Baby Productions company is based, co-producing along with ABC Studios.
The original series starred William Katt as the title character, a teacher who is tasked with using this superhero suit to help save the world. The original series was created by Stephen J. Cannell, airing for three seasons on ABC between 1981 and 1984, also starring Robert Culp as Bill Maxwell, Connie Sellecca as Pam Davidson and Michael Pare as Tony Villicana. The show may have been best known not for its three-season run, but for its iconic theme song, "Believe It Or Not," performed by Joey Scarbury with music from iconic 1980s TV composer Mike Post and lyrics by Stephen Geyer. The song reached the #2 spot on the Billboard 100 singles charts in 1981.
Hannah Simone is best known for playing Cece Parekh on Fox's New Girl, which will debut its final season Tuesday, April 10, which will be comprised of eight episodes, including a one-hour finale. While Hannah Simone was born in the U.K., she does have Indian roots, born in London to an Indian father and a British mother of German, Italian, and Greek Cypriot descent. She also recently starred in the indie film Killing Gunther, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cobie Smulders. Deadline broke the news on Hannah Simone's casting earlier today.