Although they were initially quite successful with MTV’s Clone High and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, it was really 21 Jump Street that put co-writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller on everybody’s radar. By all accounts, that movie shouldn’t have work, but Lord and Miller just seem to have the comedic Midas touch and turned a rather corny old TV series into a brilliantly hilarious modern incarnation. And now they’re looking to work their magic again.
Deadline are reporting that the duo – who made a gigantic splash earlier in the year when they wrote and directed The LEGO Movie (EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!) – are set to executive produce a new TV remake of The Greatest American Hero, another early 1980’s TV show – like 21 Jump Street – from late prolific TV writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell (if you’re a kid of the 80’s, he’s probably responsible for most of your nostalgia – the closing logo of some of my favourite shows showing Cannell writing on his typewriter before tossing a page into the air will be forever burnt into my memory).
The original show followed William Katt as Ralph Hinkley, a teacher who gets given a superpowered red jumpsuit by aliens that want to empower him to save the Earth. The suit grants all kinds of superhuman abilities like strength, speed, flight and more, but the reluctant hero Hinkley quickly loses the instruction manual he was provided with and ends up having to bumble his way through his adventures through trial and error. Along the way he gets a FBI minder, played by Robert Culp, with different ideas on how to use the suit, as well as some help from a female lawyer played by Connie Sellecca. The new show will follow the same basic premise, but with the hero now being an inner city teacher named Isaac.
Cannell’s daughter, television director Tawnia McKiernan, will be executive producing alongside Lord and Miller, who have also roped in their 22 Jump Street writer Rodney Rothman to pen the pilot, which has got a commitment from Fox.
I must admit that I barely remember this show, or whether any of its three season actually aired locally. While my memory may be going (I’m getting old, you damn whippersnappers!), I have the utmost faith in Lord and Miller, who have yet to put a foot wrong in my book. And with the show’s potential for hijinks comedy and drama, this could be a real solid gig.
While I may not remember watching the show, I definitely remember its theme song, Joey Scarbury’s “Believe It or Not”, which actually hit no.2 on the Billboard 100 in 1981. And to jog my memory, and probably earworm you for the rest of the day, here’s a montage of the show set to that theme.
Last Updated: September 1, 2014