8.1/10
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17 user 4 critic

The White Shadow 

A white former NBA professional retires from the pro game and gets a job as a basketball coach in a predominantly black inner-city high school.

Creator:

Bruce Paltrow
Reviews
Popularity
4,850 ( 157)

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



3   2   1  
1981   1980   1979   1978  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Ken Howard ...  Ken Reeves 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Kevin Hooks ...  Morris Thorpe 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Byron Stewart Byron Stewart ...  Warren Coolidge 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Timothy Van Patten ...  Mario 'Salami' Pettrino 54 episodes, 1978-1981
Joan Pringle ...  Sybil Buchanan 53 episodes, 1978-1981
Thomas Carter ...  James Hayward 42 episodes, 1978-1981
Nathan Cook Nathan Cook ...  Milton Reese 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Ken Michelman Ken Michelman ...  Abner Goldstein 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Ira Angustain Ira Angustain ...  Ricky Gomez 40 episodes, 1978-1981
Erik Kilpatrick Erik Kilpatrick ...  Curtis Jackson 39 episodes, 1978-1980
John Mengatti ...  Nick Vitaglia / ... 34 episodes, 1979-1981
Ed Bernard Ed Bernard ...  Jim Willis / ... 33 episodes, 1978-1980
Russell Phillip Robinson Russell Phillip Robinson ...  Manager Phil Jefferson / ... 25 episodes, 1979-1980
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Storyline

Ken Reeves was a professional basketball player who had to retire because of injuries. Against his sister Katie's advice, Ken takes a job as the basketball coach at Carver High School in Los Angeles, a tough, mixed-race school. Jim Willis, Ken's friend, was the principal for the first two seasons and was replaced by Sybil Buchanan, the former vice-principal, in the third year. Written by J.E. McKillop <jack-mckillop@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A glad, sad, funny story for everyone who has needed a second chance. Starring Ken Howard (season 1) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herencia de gloria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of the actors playing the Carver players, Nathan Cook was the oldest (28) when the show debuted, only seven years younger than Ken Howard. Timothy Van Patten was the youngest at 19. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the following episodes, "Wanna Bet?" and "That Old Gang of Mine". The roman numeral of the year 1979 at the end of the credits, was MCMLXXVIX. There was confusion of that because, the "V" should've been removed. The remaining first season episodes were finalized as MCMLXXIX, which was 1979 when the "V" was deleted. See more »

Quotes

Jim Willis: You had it easy sonny boy. You'll never know what it's like have to sit in the back of the bus and then give up your seat to a white man or pee in your pants because you can't find a bathroom that'll take you... Now I know a racist when I see one. And I'm looking at one right now.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Cave Dwellers (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

The White Shadow Should Have Lasted 10+ Years.
11 July 2005 | by markrickerby1See all my reviews

I wish The White Shadow would have lasted as long as Saturday Night Live, with a revolving cast of new students every three years. The world needed this show then and needs it even more now.

It boggles my mind why shows like The White Shadow, which addressed the real-life concerns of inner city kids in an intelligent, sensitive, poignant way get canceled while idiotic shows like Married With Children last forever. Kids may pretend they don't need help and guidance, act tough and independent, etc., but they do. This show provided it. It was full of wisdom and insight but was fun and entertaining at the same time. All of the actors were brilliant. It was one of the best ensembles ever put together. I watched a lot of the episodes on TV Land a few years ago and was just as moved and entertained then as I was when I was in high school 20 years ago.

I suppose the reason intelligent shows like this get canceled is because TV is a flawed medium. People surf the channels with their eyes, not their minds, and since the eyes are the most shallow of our receptors, they stop when they see a pair of boobs or graphic violence. This is why the Jerry Springer show keeps on going while intelligent documentaries that redeem and educate us all struggle in obscurity. It's a sad statement about humanity in general. In the final analysis, we get the TV shows we deserve.

If any of the cast or crew of The White Shadow ever read this, THANK YOU for helping me through high school at a time when I had very few sensible role models (like Coach Reeves) or instruction on how to make the tough decisions. Your show provided both without being condescending or preachy. I wish there were more shows like it today.


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