To think that it started as a mid-season replacement series in January, 1966, then became a pop culture phenomenon.
Indeed, Batman captured the public's attention when ABC introduced the series in the 2nd half of the 1965-6 season, and it became a to-do stop for a number of celebrities, whether it was to be a villain of the week, or just to stop by.
The appropriately named Batman1966TVShow uploaded the first episode, "Hi Diddle Riddle", to YouTube:
And MrHJona uploaded the conclusion, "Smack In The Middle", in its entirety:
Death was a rarity on this show, and the only known fatality came in this two-parter as Molly (Jill St. John) was killed off, leading Batman (Adam West, ex-The Detectives) to utter the famous line, What a way to go-go.".
It is well known, of course, that in the course of the series' 26 month history, 3 actors played Mr. Freeze, including filmmaker Otto Preminger. Even the late Frank Gorshin, who won an Emmy as The Riddler, was subbed out for one storyline, with John Astin (ex-The Addams Family) filling in. When the feature film version of the series was shot during the season, Julie Newmar, at the time the definitive Catwoman, had a previous commitment, so former Miss America Lee Meriweather, later of Time Tunnel & Barnaby Jones, subbed. Broadway star Eartha Kitt took over in season 3, which might've given the producers of the 2004 "Catwoman" feature film an excuse to use another African-American, Halle Berry ("X-Men") in the title role.
Batman merits inclusion in our archives because after the series ended, some stations, including WRGB in Schenectady, aired the show on Saturdays after the network cartoons. WRGB aired the show 6 days a week at one point, before passing the show to another station in the market. You'll have to forgive the intrusive advertising in the first two clips, which were taken from TV Land's run of the series.
This weekend, Batman will be returning, as the series joins the Me-TV lineup (check local listings)
These days, Adam West is keeping busy voicing his animated likeness as the mayor of Quahog, home of Fox's Family Guy. Series creator Seth MacFarlane must be a fan......