Female-Led 'Greatest American Hero' Reboot Lands at ABC

The new iteration will center on an Indian-American woman.
Courtesy of Photofest

The Greatest American Hero is eyeing a comeback — but with a very modern twist.

A female-led reboot of the beloved '80s series has landed at ABC with a hefty put pilot commitment, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The single-camera, half-hour comedy remake follows Meera, a 30-year-old Indian-American woman from Cleveland, whose talents include drinking tequila, singing karaoke and not much else. Then some aliens entrust her with a supersuit to protect the planet, and the world has never been in more unreliable hands.

The original series was an hourlong and starred a white male actor (William Katt) in the lead role. The show, also known for its catchy theme song, debuted on ABC in 1981 and ran for three seasons.

Fresh Off the Boat writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom will pen the pilot and executive produce with Fresh Off the Boat 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). Twentieth Century Fox TV, where Khan's Fierce Baby banner is based, will co-produce with ABC Studios.

The Greatest American Hero is one of several beloved properties eyeing returns with a female-heavy cast. Melissa McCarthy headlined a female-led Ghostbusters remake for Sony last year, and 2018 will see the release of the female-focused Ocean's Eight, a remake of Ocean's Eleven. A female-centered Lord of the Flies film is in the works at Warner Bros. However, that has been met with early criticism.

The Greatest American Hero also comes as Hollywood has been feeling more pressure to cast more diversely in the years since #OscarsSoWhite. However, TV has been seen as more successful than film in that area, thanks to the sheer number of TV projects in the current Peak TV era, as well as prolific talent like Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari and Khan, whose Fresh Off the Boat features a heavily Asian-American cast.

And, as has been the trend for several years, TV continues to focus on reboots, revivals and remakes of old films and TV shows as a way to break through a crowded marketplace with known intellectual property.