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Trivia / The Greatest American Hero

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  • Breakaway Pop Hit: The theme song. It peaked at #2 a few weeks after the show premiered. It then hung around for two years in the Billboard Hot 100, making it one of the biggest pop hits of the 1980s.
  • Dawson Casting: The high school students. So much so that Michael Pare (Tony) is only three years younger than Connie Sellecca (Pam). And Faye Grant (Rhonda) is only two years younger than Sellecca.
  • Edited for DVD: In "Operation: Spoilsport" the aliens pressed Ralph forward by continually playing the song "Eve of Destruction." Due to copyright issues the song is replaced in the DVD release.
  • Executive Meddling: The temporary change in Hinkley's name.
    • Plus the continued struggles between Cannell, who wanted a light comedy with real world problems as opposed to the network, who wanted Villain of the Week "Superhero" type plots.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: in "Divorce, Venusian Style" the computers on the little green guys' ship make the distinctive Star Trek Bridge sound effects.
  • The Merch: Courtesy Mego, who provided Ralph and Bill in 3 3/4" scale, packaged with the VW Beetle.
  • Real-Life Relative: In "Who's Woo in America," William Katt's real life mother, Barbara Hale, plays Ralph Hinkley's mother Paula.
    • Robert Culp's sons appear in "Vanity, Says the Preacher."
  • Screwed by the Network: Stephen J. Cannell had envisioned this as a show focusing on down-to-earth, real life problems, the powers would be in the suit, not the guy (though the suit would only work for him) and Ralph would try to solve ordinary-type issues. The ABC executives whom Cannell had pitched the show to, Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner, had actually agreed to go along with this. Unfortunately, however, after the show was picked up, Carsey and Werner left ABC to form Carsey Werner, and the new network executives demanded that Cannell incorporate more fantastic plots, which ultimately alienated viewers.
    • The final blow came when ABC moved it to Friday Nights. The ratings went down so fast four episodes were left unaired.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact
  • Throw It In!: The scene of Ralph writing his name on the blackboard with the chalk breaking at the start of the third season's credits was a blooper.
  • Written and Directed by Cast Member: Robert Culp on "Lilacs, Mr. Maxwell", and "Vanity, Says the Preacher" (the latter was one of four episodes not shown in the network run, although it and the others did get shown in syndication- unlike the pilot for some reason).


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