Hannah Simone as Cece on Fox's "New Girl"

New Girl‘s Hannah Simone Set to Star in Greatest American Hero Reboot

Believe it or not, she's walkin' on air...

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Some shows and films seem perfect the way they were. Others…seem more ripe for a reboot. In the latter category is the 1980s dramedy The Greatest American Hero, which is now getting the reboot treatment, and I am here for it. Especially since it’s being re-imagined for an Indian-American woman, with New Girl‘s Hannah Simone set to star!

With the end of Fox’s New Girl fast approaching, Simone was snapped up for the title role on this new Greatest American Hero pilot for ABC. The single-camera comedy will be brought to us by Fresh Off the Boat scribes Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan, so brown girls will be representing not just in front of the camera, but behind it as well! (Have I mentioned I am here for it?)

It’s an adaptation of the ABC cult classic that ran from 1981-1983, back when theme songs were like an hour long:

The original show told the story of a teacher named Ralph Hanley who ends up receiving a special suit from aliens that gives him superhuman abilities. He becomes a superhero, but he’s super-reluctant about it. He also loses the suit’s instruction manual, so the powers he has are often a surprise, even to him, and he never really manages the whole landing gracefully after flying thing.

The show then touches on the standard superhero dilemmas: like, how do you make time for/protect your loved ones? What happens when your superhero identity and your “real-life” identity become too connected?

What’s interesting is that a female-fronted version of this story was attempted once before. In 1986, the cast of the original show was gathered together for a pilot movie of an NBC spinoff they called The Greatest American Heroine. In this version, years have passed since the events of the original show, Ralph’s secret identity was made known and he becomes a celebrity, which angers the aliens who gave him the suit, and they charge him with finding someone new to wear it. He ends up finding the perfect person in a schoolteacher/activist named Holly, and he trains her in how to use the suit. The show never went to series, and the pilot never aired.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Fruchbom’s re-imagining “centers around Meera, 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.”

Simone has always been one of my favorite parts of New Girl, bringing the humor in fun and unexpected ways, while also keeping her character (and the other, way more off-the-wall characters) grounded. I think she’s a perfect casting choice for a show with a wacky protagonist who ultimately needs to find some stability and purpose.

Right now, the show is just a pilot, but here’s hoping that this show does get a full season order. It would be really, really awesome to see brown girls engaged in comedic television super-heroics. Also, that theme song is catchy as hell, and I’d love to hear a female version of it.

What do you think? Would you watch a new Greatest American Hero?

(image: screencap/Fox)

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Author
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.