This was Television on March 18

1981: The Greatest American Hero debuts

William Katt starred as an ordinary teacher who accidentally gains extraordinary powers in this comedy-drama which ran on ABC for three seasons. The misadventures of Katt’s reluctant superhero is often remembered for its Top 4o hit theme song, “Believe It or Not,” and for the unusual circumstances under which its protagonist’s name changed from Ralph Hinkley to Ralph Hanley after John Hinckley, Jr., gained notoriety for attempting to kill President Ronald Reagan less than two weeks after the show’s debut. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Richard Biggs, space station doc (d. 2004); Kevin Dobson, cop (70); Brad Dourif, Old West doc (63); Sutton Foster, dance instructor (38); Art Gilmore, announcer (d. 2010); Peter Graves, spy (d. 2010); Adam Pally, happy ender (31); Queen Latifah, magazine editor (43); Mike Rowe, dirty job chronicler (51). 

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