The White Shadow was a 60 minute sports drama series on CBS about a white, former professional basketball player who became a coach for the basketball team at a mostly black inner-city high school located in South Central Los Angeles. The coach took an active, caring role in the lives of the members of his team both on and off the court.
The White Shadow Cast
Ken Howard .... Ken Reeves
Kevin Hooks .... Morris Thorpe
Timothy Van Patten .... Mario "Salami" Pettrino
Byron Stewart .... Warren Coolidge
Joan Pringle .... Sybil Buchanan
Thomas Carter .... James Hayward
Ken Michelman .... Abner Goldstein
Ira Angustain .... Ricky Gomez
Nathan Cook .... Milton Reese
Erik Kilpatrick .... Curtis Jackson
John Mengatti .... Nick Vitaglia
The White Shadow Trivia
Coach Reeves was hired to be the basketball coach at Carver High School by his best friend who happened to be the school's Principal. Reeves left the NBA due to repeated knee injuries.
Principal Willis and Coach Reeves met while both were attending Boston College. They were both on the basketball team there.
The White Shadow was nominated for Emmys in the category, "Outstanding Drama Series" in both 1980 and 1981. In 1980, "Lou Grant" won and in 1981, "Hill Street Blues" won.
Coach Reeves drove a hot little red Mustang convertible in the pilot episode of The White Shadow. After that, he was never seen in the Mustang again. He was always driving an old station wagon. It appeared that they decided that a high-profile ex-NBA star wouldn't be accepted by viewers as someone likely to identify with the poor, inner-city kids on his team.
If you think that goofs made on television shows are kind of neat, here's a couple for you. On both episodes #6, "Wanna Bet" and #7, "That Old Gang of Mine" at the end of the closing credits, the copyright date is listed in Roman numerals just like most TV show episodes. In those cases, however, the 1979 year is listed as "MCMLXXVIX". As those of you who can read Roman numeral know, the "V" in that date shouldn't be there. All of the other episodes listed the date properly as "MCMLXXIX".
Ken Howard had starring or recurring roles on several other TV shows. They were: "Adam's Rib", "Dynasty", "The Colbys", "Crossing Jordan", and "Cane".
When the White Shadow first hit the airwaves, only one of the "kids" on the basketball team was a teenager. Timothy Van Patten was 19-years-old. All of the other actors were in their twenties.
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
- Pilot Episode (11/27/1978)
- Here's Mud in Your Eye (12/4/1978)
- The Offer (12/11/1978)
- Bonus Baby (12/25/1978)
- Pregnant Pause (1/1/1979)
- Wanna Bet? (1/8/1979)
- That Old Gang of Mine (1/15/1979)
- Just One of the Boys (1/27/1979)
- Airball (2/3/1979)
- We're in the Money (2/10/1979)
- Spare the Rod (2/17/1979)
- The Great White Dope (2/24/1979)
- Mainstream (3/5/1979)
- Little Orphan Abner (3/26/1979)
- LeGrand Finale (4/9/1979)
- On the Line (9/17/1979)
- Albert Hodges (9/24/1979)
- Cross-Town Hustle (10/1/1979)
- Sudden Death (10/8/1979)
- A Silent Cheer (10/15/1979)
- No Place Like Home (10/29/1979)
- Globetrotters (11/5/1979)
- Me? (11/12/1979)
- Needle (11/26/1979)
- Sliding By (12/3/1979)
- Delores, Of Course (12/18/1979)
- A Christmas Present (12/25/1979)
- Feeling No Pain (1/1/1980)
- Artist (1/8/1980)
- Salami's Affair (1/15/1980)
- Links (1/22/1980)
- The Stripper (1/29/1980)
- Gonna Fly Now (2/5/1980)
- Out at Home (2/19/1980)
- The Russians Are Coming (2/26/1980)
- The Hitter (3/4/1980)
- The Death of Me Yet (3/11/1980)
- Coolidge Goes Hollywood (3/18/1980)
- A Few Good Men (4/1/1980)
- Reunion - Part 1 (10/16/1980)
- Reunion - Part 2 (10/23/1980)
- Georgia on My Mind (10/30/1980)
- If Your Number's Up, Get It Down (12/16/1980)
- Christmas Story (12/23/1980)
- No Blood, No Foul (12/30/1980)
- Vanity Fare (1/6/1981)
- Mister Hero (1/13/1981)
- B.M.O.C (2/2/1981)
- Trial and Error (2/9/1981)
- Car Repo (2/16/1981)
- Psyched Out (2/23/1981)
- Cops (3/2/1981)
- Burnout (3/9/1981)
- A Day in the Life (3/16/1981)
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