ABC's hit '80s series The Greatest American Hero will be getting a special 40th anniversary tribute on the network, but not with a revival, instead a special episode of The Goldbergs will pay loving tribute to the series. The Goldbergs episode featuring the tribute will air on Wednesday, February 24 at 8 p.m. Originally on the air from 1981 to 1983, The Greatest American Hero began as a two-hour pilot movie on March 18, 1981 and starred William Katt as teacher Ralph Hinkley a regular guy who gets a red and black suit from aliens that grants him superhuman abilities which he has to learn to use through trial and error.
According to a press release The Goldbergs’ tribute will see the young Adam F. Goldberg (Sean Giambrone)and Pops (George Segal) watching an episode of the series. While watching, Adam will remark, “What a perfectly realized premise! Of all the people to get superpowers: a mild-mannered guy!” Pops responds with “Maybe his ordinariness is his superpower.” Adam adds, “Could be. Either way, these are definitely the questions the show wants us to be asking." The episode will later reveal “the greatest superpower of all” with the theme from the series playing over the credit of The Goldbergs.
This new episode marks the latest tribute episode by The Goldbergs, which, as a sitcom in the 1980s, has done a lot of them. Among the many tribute episodes done by the series is Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Goonies, Say Anything, Risky Business, The Princess Bride, Caddyshack, Top Gun, A Christmas Story, Short Circuit, Airplane!, and Breakfast Club. The series has also paid tribute to other '80s staples like Stephen King, Knight Rider, Doogie Howser, The Day After, and MTV Spring Break.
Modern reboots of The Greatest American Hero have been in development multiple times in recent years but have fallen apart before they could even get off the ground. In 2018 Rachna Fruchbom (Fresh Off the Boat, Parks and Recreation) was tapped to write and executive produce a new version which would have had a female lead, despite a pilot order it failed to move forward at ABC. In 2014 a version of the concept was in development at FOX from The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller.
The Goldbergs stars Wendi McLendon-Covey as Beverly Goldberg, Patton Oswalt as adult Adam Goldberg, Sean Giambrone as Adam Goldberg, Troy Gentile as Barry Goldberg, Hayley Orrantia as Erica Goldberg, Sam Lerner as Geoff Schwartz with George Segal as Pops Solomon and Jeff Garlin as Murray Goldberg.