He’s bungling, awkward, even stupid. Corseted in baggy tights with blue satin jockey shorts, he bears only mocking resemblance to the comic-book prototype. Yet Batman was an instant hit from the start of his TV run in early 1966. Adults liked him as a campy put-on. Children thought of him as a hero. And to ABC, for whom the “Batman” show won some rare rating victories, he was a savior.
But, alas, the fad had to fade. As the pop revolution moved beyond its comic-book fetish, adults grew bored with the caped crusader and the boy wonder and left the show to flicker in the playroom as a baby-sitter. Even with the addition last fall of Batgirl, the dynamic trio couldn’t hold off slumping ratings. ABC denied rumors of imminent cancellation in an effort to keep advertisers from fleeing, but it was obvious last week that the show had been zapped right out of next fall’s network schedule.
“The cream,” admitted Bob Kane, the cartoonist who created Batman and Robin, “has been taken off the milk.”
Photo: Adam West (as Batman) and Burt Ward (as Robin)