With New Girl coming to an end, series’ co-star Hannah Simone has been tapped for the title role in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot The Greatest American Hero, from the Fresh Off the Boat duo of Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan. In the reimagining with a gender switch of Steven J. Cannell’s 1981 cult classic, the unlikely (super)hero at the center, played by William Katt in the original, is being reconceived as an Indian-American woman.
Written by Fruchbom, The Greatest American Hero centers around Meera (Simone), a 30-year-old woman who loves tequila and karaoke and has spent her life searching and failing to find meaning, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian-American family. An inexplicable event occurs that will change the course of Meera’s life forever: she is entrusted with a super suit to protect the planet. Meera may have finally found purpose, but the world has never been in more unreliable hands.
Fruchbom executive produces alongside Fierce Baby’s Nahnatchka Khan and Mandy Summers as well as Tawnia McKiernan. 20th Century Fox TV, where Fierce Baby and Fruchbom are based, co-produces with ABC Studios.
Simone, believed to be playing the first woman of color superhero lead of a live-action TV series, was among the most sought after actors for broadcast pilots this season, fielding multiple offers before choosing The Greatest American Hero. The project keeps the British actress, whose father is Indian, in the 20th Century Fox TV fold. She has spent the past seven seasons playing Zooey Deschanel’s best friend, Cece, on Fox’s New Girl, which will return for its seventh and final season in April. She was recently seen in the film Why We’re Killing Gunther and also appeared in the Sundance film Band Aid opposite Zoe Lister-Jones, who also directed, and hosted Fox’s reality competition series, Kicking & Screaming.
Simone is repped by UTA, Alpita Patel Management and attorney PJ Shapiro.