4:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Female-Led 'Greatest American Hero' Nabs ABC Pilot Pickup
ABC is moving forward with its female-driven reboot of The Greatest American Hero.
The Disney-owned network has handed out a formal pilot order to the single-camera, half-hour comedy that follows Meera, a 30-year-old Indian-American woman from Cleveland, Ohio, whose talents include drinking tequila, singing karaoke and not much else.
Fresh Off the Boat writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom penned the pilot and executive produces alongside FOTB showrunner/creator Nahnatchka Khan; her producing partner, Mandy Summers; and original series creator Stephen J. Cannell's daughter, TV director Tawnia McKiernan (Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods). The project hails from 20th Century Fox Television, where Khan's Fierce Baby banner is based, which will co-produce the potential series alongside ABC Studios as co-productions continue to be a big trend this pilot season.
The original Greatest American Hero was an hourlong drama that aired on ABC from 1981-83, lasting four seasons with William Katt starring in the lead role.
ABC's Greatest American Hero reboot follows Meera after aliens entrust her with a super suit to protect the planet. It is one of several properties to get a modern twist in a remake treatment. Melissa McCarthy headlined a female-led Ghostbusters remake for Sony, while a female-focused Ocean's Eight is due for release this year. The Greatest American Hero reboot arrives as Hollywood has made inclusive storytelling a greater priority, with ABC at the forefront of the push with programming like Scandal — with Kerry Washington the first African-American woman to topline a drama since the 1970s — and shows like Fresh Off the Boat, Speechless and Black-ish, among others.
Reboots continue to be in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven intellectual property in a scripted landscape that is expected to top 500 originals this year. Key to them is having the original producers attached, which Greatest American Hero has with Cannell's daughter, McKiernan, and ABC.
This pilot season, The CW is rebooting Charmed; ABC is also rebooting Get Christie Love (TV's first drama with an African-American woman at its center); CBS is reviving Murphy Brown; and NBC has a Bad Boys spinoff centered around star Gabrielle Union. All told, ABC has six dramas and three comedies in the works for the 2018-19 broadcast season.
Keep up with all the latest pilot orders, castings and eventual series pickups with THR's handy guide.