Faster than a speeding bullet,
More powerful than a locomotive,
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound,
The 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 was the first television series to feature Superman and began filming in 1951 in California on RKO-Pathé stages and the RKO Forty Acres back lot. It was 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 in first-run syndication. Television viewers did not see Superman in color until the series was syndicated to local stations in 1965.
George Reeves played Clark Kent/Superman, with Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen, John Hamilton as Perry White, and Robert Shayne as Inspector Henderson. Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane in the first season, with Noel Neill stepping into the role in the second season (1953). Superman 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.
Its opening theme is known as The
March. In 1987, selected episodes of the show were released to video. In 2006, the series became available in its entirety on DVD. Hollywoodland was released in 2006, a film dramatizing the show’s production and the death of its star George Reeves.