Superman, the American icon of comic book fame, DC’s flagship character, has had a lot of television shows over the years. A lot. From the horribly cheesy Superboy, to the soap opera, light hearted Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the recently ended Smallville, Superman has enjoyed a slew of live action appearances on TV.
One Superman show that is often forgotten is Adventures of Superman
, which aired in the 50’s. George Reeves, the subject of the film Hollywoodland starring Ben Affleck, the current Batman, played Clark Kent/Superman. There were a lot of shows that debuted in the 50’s that were similar in vibe and look as Adventures of Superman. The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Richard Greene, for example, had the same down home, aw shucks kind of attitude. It was the 50’s and everyone was friendly and sweet, even the bad guys had manners on Superman. I love this decade and much of its pop culture, including films and other TV programs.
Superman fought petty criminals for the most part, thugs that stole or tried to beat up innocent people and the show was very clean cut, as was normal during this time. It started with a feature length film entitled Superman and the Mole Men that was successful enough to prompt a full series, which lasted for 6 seasons and 104 episodes. The episodes were not very long, only about 25 minutes each and the plots were usually pretty simplistic but it had an easy going, fun atmosphere.
George Reeves looked the part of Superman. He was tall and handsome and had a commanding voice but was still good natured and likable. All the other staples of Superman were there as well, with Lois Lane as his work colleague and shrewd fellow reported, Jimmy Olsen, the young, wet behind the ears photographer that looks up to Superman and their boss, Perry White, the loud, blustering publisher of The Daily Planet, Metropolis’ newspaper.
The show began as a black and white program but after the start of the 1955 season, it changed to color. I kind of liked the charm of the black and white ones more.