Although Asians and Asian Americans have been present on American television screens for decades,  few television series have featured Asian or Asian Americans in starring roles. Kung Fu (Warner Bros, ABC, 1972-1975), starring David Carradine as Kwai-Chang Caine, featured a white American actor as a bi-racial Shaolin priest in the Old West. Originally conceived as a vehicle for martial arts adept Bruce Lee, the series went to an actor with little physical ability, but with a knack for embodying a Hippie pacifism along with a reluctant, but devastating aggression.
On the lam from the law, Caine picked up where The Fugitive (1963-67) left off and added a topical resonance with the televised resistance to the war in Vietnam by living like a pacifist, draft-dodger as well as fighting guerilla-style like a Viet Cong, and, in all respects, getting the better of his Anglo-American opponents, while being white himself. Thus, Caine took the moral high ground as a Buddhist priest while embodying the anger of an entire generation. Twenty years later, Warner Bros revived the series as Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993-1996) set in modern day California with a plotline involving the police.
Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid (1984): American action film and television, involving martial artists as heroes, tended to be dominated by narratives revolving around Euro-American protagonists. .
If the original Kung Fu rode to prominence on the coattails of Bruce Lee and the "kung fu craze- of the early 1970s, then, the revamped series also reflected a new commercial interest in martial arts film represented by the Brandon Lee vehicle Rapid Fire (1992) and a biography of his father, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993).