Coming in as a mid-season replacement, Batman was the second superhero to get a television show. But this one did not take itself quite as seriously as the version of Superman in the 1950s. Starring Adam West as Batman, and Burt Ward as his sidekick Robin, the pair were on two nights a week, with a cliffhanger episode between the shows.
The show spawned a movie, produced as they shot the show, and appearing in theaters between the first and second seasons. The movie had no animated opening title. The series ran for 120 episodes and ending in 1968 with a series of single-episode shows.
Though typecast by the show, both its stars would return to play the caped crusaders again in Filmation's The New Adventures of Batman in 1977.
Neal Hefti composed the theme music for this series shortly before its premiere. After tossing out many ideas, he wrote a repeated series of two-note bursts, based on a framework of 12-bar blues.
"Sure, you may say I could have written the theme itself in two minutes -- but it took weeks to work out the arrangement, which is inseparable from the melody," he told the Los Angeles Times in 1966. "It often takes time to write something that sounds like you just turned on a faucet and it flowed out."
Hefti put in one lyric: the repeated exclamation "Batman!" This led him to joke that his composer's credit should read, "Word and Music by Neal Hefti."
Batman Production Information
Traditional, Hand-drawn Animation.
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