Believe it or not, The Greatest American Hero is returning to television.
Deadline reports that The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will bring the Emmy-nominated ’80s superhero series back to the small screen alongside Tawnia McKiernan, the daughter of the original series’ prolific creator, Stephen J. Cannell (who also created The A-Team, The Rockford Files, the original 21 Jump Street series, and a long list of other popular shows throughout the ’80s and ’90s). The new version of The Greatest American Hero will be developed for the FOX network as an hour-long series.
The original series chronicled the adventures of Los Angeles schoolteacher Ralph Hinkley (famously played by William Katt), who is given a powerful superhero suit by aliens during an encounter in the desert. Reluctantly partnered with gruff F.B.I. agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp), Ralph attempts to use the suit to do good deeds, often with disastrous — but successful — results because he can’t control the suit. (He lost the instruction manual for the suit shortly after receiving it.) The series went on for three seasons, was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards, and propelled its theme song — Joey Scarbury’s “Believe It Or Not” — to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart in 1981.
The site reports that the new series will be written and executive produced by Rodney Rothman, who co-wrote the recent 21 Jump Street sequel, 22 Jump Street with Lord and Miller. This time around, the series will follow an inner-city teacher named Isaac who discovers a superhero suit that gives him powerful abilities, only to lose the instruction manual (much like the original series). He must also contend with a government handler who has his own ideas regarding how best to use the suit.
There’s no word on when the new version of The Greatest American Hero will premiere on FOX.