Hannah Simone has been cast as The Greatest American Hero. After seven years, the sitcom New Girl is coming to an end, and most of the cast is looking for their next jobs. However Simone, who plays Jess’ best friend Cece, already has her next show lined up. In the reboot of The Greatest American Hero – an hour long comedy show that aired for three seasons in the early 80s – Simone will play Meera, the show’s main character. In the original series the lead was played by William Katt, but it the reboot the character of Ralph Hinkley was changed to a woman of Indian descent.
Meera is an Indian-American woman who has yet to find a purpose besides drinking and karaoke – to the disappointment of her traditional family. Until one day some aliens give the slacker a super suit and leaves her in charge of protecting the planet. Now Meera might have found her mission in life, but she’s not exactly the most reliable person under normal circumstances. And of course, things have become anything but normal. The sitcom, which will have 30 minute episodes unlike its predecessor, has a pilot order at ABC.
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According to Deadline, Simone was among the most sought after actors this pilot season. Now she will play a character who is probably one of the first female superheroes of color in a live-action TV series in the pilot, which is being written by Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan from Fresh off the Boat.
Simone – whose father is Indian – is British, though her career has been centered in the United States. While she is best known for New Girl, she has also been seen in the movies Miss India America, Odd Squad: The Movie, Band-Aid, and Old Boy. She was also one of the producers on Miss India America and was the host of the reality show Kicking & Screaming.
The first attempt to make The Greatest American Hero a female-led show was actually an attempted spin-off of the original series titled The Greatest American Heroine, which never got beyond a movie that was edited to be the final episode of the original show. An attempt to reboot the series was made by Fox in 2015, but it never came to fruition. Now that the remake has moved to ABC and has Simone taking the lead, maybe the time has finally come both for the The Greatest American Hero to have a successful remake and for that Greatest American Hero to be a woman.
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