Saturday, June 16, 2012
"Adventures of Superman" 1952-1958
Adventures of Superman is an American television series based on comic book characters and concepts created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The show is the first television series to feature Superman and began filming in 1951 in California. Sponsored by cereal manufacturer Kellogg's, the syndicated show's first, and last, air dates are disputed but generally accepted as September 19, 1952 and April 28, 1958. The show's first two seasons (episodes 1–52, 26 titles per season) were filmed in black-and-white; seasons three through six (episodes 53–104, 13 titles per season) were filmed in color but originally telecast monochromatically both on the ABC network and in first-run syndication. Television viewers would not see Superman in color until the series was syndicated to local stations in 1965.
George Reeves plays Clark Kent/Superman with Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen, John Hamilton as Perry White, and Robert Shayne as Inspector Henderson. Phyllis Coates plays Lois Lane in the first season with Noel Neill stepping into the role in the second season (1953). Stories follow Superman as he battles crooks, gangsters, and other villains in the fictional city of Metropolis while masquerading "off-duty" as Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, Clark's colleagues at the office, often find themselves in dangerous situations which can only be resolved with Superman's timely intervention.
Adventures of Superman generally employed visual effects advanced for television of the period, and, while the show won no major awards, it was popular with its audience and remains popular today. Its opening theme is known as The Superman March. In 1976, the book Superman: From Serial to Cereal was published, and, in 1987, selected episodes of the show were released to video. In 2006, the series became available in its entirety on DVD and reruns of the show still hold a place on television programming schedules. In 2006, HOLLYWOODLAND, a film dramatizing the show's production and the death of its star, George Reeves, was released.