EXCLUSIVE: A Steven J. Cannell cult classic is getting a reboot at Fox. The network has given a put pilot commitment to The Greatest American Hero, a new take on the 1981 sci-fi dramedy, which is being shepherded by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, directors of the successful feature franchise based on another ’80s TV series by Cannell, 21 Jump Street. Lord and Miller will executive produce the hourlong action comedy alongside Cannell’s daughter, television director Tawnia McKiernan. Written/exec produced by Rodney Rothman and produced by 20th TV, the new Greatest American Hero will chronicle inner-city teacher Isaac’s adventures after his discovery of a superhero suit that gives him superhuman abilities. Unfortunately for Isaac, he hates wearing the suit and has to learn how to use its powers by trial and error because he quickly misplaces the suit’s instructions. He also has to deal with a government handler who has very different objectives than him and struggles as to whether he should use his newfound gifts to help others or just himself. The original series, created by TV legend Cannell and starring William Katt and Robert Culp, aired for three seasons on ABC. Here is a montage to the show’s theme song, “Believe It Or Not,” which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 100 in 1981:
The Lego Movie writers-directors Lord and Miller recruited Rothman for Greatest American Hero after working with him on 22 Jump Street, the duo’s sequel to 21 Jump Street. Rothman co-wrote the Lord- and Miller-directed sequel, which has grossed more than $300 million at the worldwide box office so far. Lord and Miller executive produce Greatest American Hero through their Lord Miller shingle, which has an overall deal at 20th TV. Lord Miller’s President of Television, Seth Cohen, also will executive produce.
This is the second sale and second put pilot commitment this season for Lord Miller as the company recently sold an untitled comedy project from The Interview screenwriter Dan Sterling to CBS. At Fox, they also have the much buzzed about straight-to-series comedy Last Man On Earth. Lord and Miller are repped by UTA and Matthew Johnson; Rothman is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and Ziffren; McKiernan; Tawnia is repped by APA and Andrea Simon.