Great Moments In Television History #30: The Greatest American Hero Premieres

43 years ago today, The Greatest American Hero premiered on ABC and America first heard the theme song that no one would ever forget.

The show only lasted for three seasons and it was never a huge success in the ratings.  The mix of comedy and super heroics was unusual for the time and audiences, critics, and network executives didn’t know what to make of it.  But even if the show struggled, people loved the theme song.  “Believe It or Not” was composed by Mike Post and Stephen Geyer.  Sung by Joey Scarbury, the song debuted in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number 2 on the charts.

A decade after The Greatest American Hero was canceled, audiences still got the joke as soon as they heard George Costanza’s answering machine message.

When The Greatest American Hero premiered, William Katt was playing a teacher named Ralph Hinkley.  After John W. Hinkley tried to assassinate President Reagan, Ralph’s last name suddenly become Hanley and remained that for the rest of the first season.  By the time the second season began, he was back to being Ralph Hinkley.

Even though the show wasn’t a ratings success when it first aired, it has since developed a strong cult following.  Some shows are just ahead of their time.

Previous Moments In Television History:

  1. Planet of the Apes The TV Series
  2. Lonely Water
  3. Ghostwatch Traumatizes The UK
  4. Frasier Meets The Candidate
  5. The Autons Terrify The UK
  6. Freedom’s Last Stand
  7. Bing Crosby and David Bowie Share A Duet
  8. Apaches Traumatizes the UK
  9. Doctor Who Begins Its 100th Serial
  10. First Night 2013 With Jamie Kennedy
  11. Elvis Sings With Sinatra
  12. NBC Airs Their First Football Game
  13. The A-Team Premieres
  14. The Birth of Dr. Johnny Fever
  15. The Second NFL Pro Bowl Is Broadcast
  16. Maude Flanders Gets Hit By A T-Shirt Cannon
  17. Charles Rocket Nearly Ends SNL
  18. Frank Sinatra Wins An Oscar
  19. CHiPs Skates With The Stars
  20. Eisenhower In Color
  21. The Origin of Spider-Man
  22. Steve Martin’s Saturday Night Live Holiday Wish List
  23. Barnabas Collins Is Freed From His Coffin
  24. Siskel and Ebert Recommend Horror Films
  25. Vincent Price Meets The Muppets
  26. Siskel and Ebert Discuss Horror
  27. The Final Scene of Dark Shadows
  28. The WKRP Turkey Drop
  29. Barney Pops On National TV

One response to “Great Moments In Television History #30: The Greatest American Hero Premieres

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 3/13/23 — 3/19/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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