Oct 12, 2023
Even after Batman made ABC’s “second season” schedule, to start in January 1966, there was still concern about how audiences would react. Will they get the joke? Should a laugh track be used? In a memo dated January 14, 1966 - the day after the second episode, Smack in the Middle, was first broadcast — Joseph Schrier, Director of Program Development at ABC, reports on audience testing on the pilot. While some adults got the joke, others weren’t quite sure if the show was meant to be funny. Audience reaction to Batman and Robin was mixed, as well, with some noticing that Robin was solving all the Riddler’s riddles while Batman seemed to be flailing. This time, we look at that report, discuss why Batman could be perceived as rather dense in the pilot, and how well the report’s recommendations were followed.
PLUS: Musician Noiselund shows creativity and voluminous Bat-knowledge with his music video “Buttercup”; a 1989 report about Michael Keaton’s casting as Batman, and Adam West’s reaction to it; and we read your mail about our episode on the life of Neil Hamilton.