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 show, which was produced for first-run television syndication rather than a network, has disputed first and last air dates, but they are 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 in black and white. Superman was not shown in color until 1965, when the series was syndicated to local stations.
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 (1953) and later seasons.
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 that can only be resolved with Superman’s timely intervention.
Its opening theme is known as The Superman March. In 1987, selected episodes of the show were released to video. In 2006, the series became available in its entirety on DVD.