White Shadow, The


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

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About

From Wikipedia:

The White Shadow is an American drama television series that ran on the CBS network from November 27 1978, to March 16 1981.

Thematically similar to Welcome Back, Kotter, but more dramatic than comedic, The White Shadow starred Ken Howard as Ken Reeves, a white professional basketball player who retires from the Chicago Bulls of the NBA after a severe knee injury. Upon his retirement, Reeves takes a job as a basketball coach at Carver High School, a mostly black and Hispanic urban high school in South Central Los Angeles. Carver's principal is former college classmate Jim Willis (Jason Bernard in the pilot, and Ed Bernard for seasons 1 and 2). Sybil Buchanan, played by Joan Pringle, is the vice principal who was against Reeves' hiring and clashed with Reeves in the areas of discipline and education on more than a few occasions. In season 3, Willis is promoted to a position with the Oakland Board of Education and Buchanan becomes principal of Carver.

According to the storyline, Reeves and Willis were roommates at Boston College. Reeves played college basketball and went on to be drafted into the NBA and played mostly with the Chicago Bulls.

The show was produced by Bruce Paltrow for MTM Enterprises. On November 8, 2005, the series' first season was released on DVD, with the second season following on March 7, 2006.

The White Shadow was the first ensemble drama on prime-time television with a predominantly African-American cast. With 54 episodes, it is the third-longest running drama with a predominantly African-American cast in the history of American prime-time television. Only Soul Food and The Wire have had more episodes.

The show's title is derived from a comment by Thorpe in response to a statement by Reeves in the final scene of the pilot episode. Reeves told the members of the team that he would support them and be right behind them, every step of the way, to which Thorpe replied, "Yeah. Like a white shadow."

In October 2011, ESPN Classic began reairing all 54 episodes of The White Shadow. Reruns aired on Nick at Nite and TV Land in the 1990s with other MTM Enterprises series.

Highlights
Thomas Carter on being cast as "James Hayward" on The White Shadow
02:12
Timothy Van Patten on his character, "Salami," on The White Shadow
00:51
Grant Tinker on the success of MTM's The White Shadow
01:33
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The White Shadow
00:58
Abby Singer on being production manager on The Tony Randall Show and The White Shadow
05:50
Who talked about this show

Joshua Brand

View Interview
Joshua Brand on being hired to write for The White Shadow
05:24
Joshua Brand on being hired by John Falsey to write for The White Shadow
05:31
Joshua Brand on dividing responsibilities for writing The White Shadow, and on the process of writing episodes
02:36
Joshua Brand on summing up The White Shadow, and working with Thomas Carter on the show
06:54

Thomas Carter

View Interview
Thomas Carter on being cast as "James Hayward" on The White Shadow
02:12
Thomas Carter on the African-American cast of The White Shadow and fan reaction to the show
02:23
Thomas Carter on the premise of The White Shadow
01:11
Thomas Carter on his White Shadow character "James Hayward"
02:29
Thomas Carter on the challenges of playing a high school student on T he White Shadow when he was in his twenties and how the character of "James Hayward" developed
03:58
Thomas Carter on the production of The White Shadow
03:26
Thomas Carter on working with Bruce Paltrow on The White Shadow
02:30
Thomas Carter on working with Mark Tinker on The White Shadow
00:36
Thomas Carter on the cast of The White Shadow
02:58
Thomas Carter on how his fame from The White Shadow affected him personally
03:47
Thomas Carter on directing his first episode of The White Shadow
07:44
Thomas Carter on leaving The White Shadow and the end of the show
02:07
Thomas Carter on the legacy of The White Shadow
01:07

Timothy Van Patten

View Interview
Timothy Van Patten on co-starring in The White Shadow as "Salami"
20:48

Mike Post

View Interview
Mike Post on writing the theme song to The White Shadow
00:58

Abby Singer

View Interview
Abby Singer on being production manager on The Tony Randall Show and The White Shadow
05:50

Grant Tinker

View Interview
Grant Tinker on the success of MTM's The White Shadow
01:33

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