The passing of Batman television star Adam West after a brief battle with leukemia last Friday evening, has me thinking about how important network television programming was at one time.
When the show first aired in January of 1966, it seemed that everyone this then 10-year-old kid knew who was a kid or young adult was tuning in on Wednesday or Thursday night to watch the exploits of the caped crusader and his sidekick Robin.
It was must-see TV of the kind I don’t think exists today.
With so many channels, and so many choices, you don’t hear near the chatter about an individual program that you once did.
Perhaps it’s because many Americans are just so busy working, hauling the kids or grand kids to practices or dance lessons, that they don’t have time to watch anything.
The only TV common denominator from then to now appears to be the fickle nature of the audience.
Batman enjoyed top-5 ratings in it’s first season, and was nominated for an emmy award, losing out in 1966 to the Dick Van Dyke show, but it was canceled 3 seasons later when ratings plummeted.
The shows cancellation caused West to fall into virtual obscurity until he landed a job as voice talent on Family Guy 3 decades later.
Batman the TV show spawned a movie and toy dynasty that’s still going strong.
My 3-year old grandson won’t take a nap without his plastic Batman figurine in his hand, even though he’s never seen the TV show, and probably never will.
That’s the way I see it.