It's a Movie! It's a TV Show!
It's Superman!

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It's taken many years to get the new movie made, but luckily we've had plenty of Superman on TV to keep us happy. Whether it's been the immensely popular Smallville, the pre-Desperate Housewives Lois & Clark, or the thoroughly modern Justice League Unlimited, the adventures of Superman have been unfolding on television and have shown sides to the character that only TV could.

We've divided our feature into four sections: actors and actresses in the movie Superman Returns, with links to their TV credits; live-action Superman programs; the animated Superman programs; and clips from the newly released Superman DVDs.

MOVIE ACTORS AND ACTRESSES

Brandon Routh

It's exciting that Bryan Singer and the studio went with a relatively unknown actor to play Superman. We have no preconceived notions of how Brandon will portray the character, like we would if, say, George Clooney or Nicolas Cage had played the part. Brandon's most prominent TV role to date was on Days of Our Lives, where he played Seth Anderson, a handsome man who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks but tried to turn his life around. You might have also caught him on Gilmore Girls, in the episode "Concert Interruptus."

Kate Bosworth

The character of Lois Lane has given numerous actresses the chance to play a tough, strong woman--Noel Neill, Teri Hatcher, and Margot Kidder among them. Now comes Kate Bosworth, who first appeared on television in Young Americans. Though it was a spin-off of the popular Dawson's Creek, it lasted only one season. Fortunately for Kate, though, her career continued, and she garnered attention for herself in the movie Blue Crush. Now the entire world will see her performance as Lois Lane, which various movie scenes and photos suggest will suit her very well.

Kevin Spacey

Filling Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor shoes is a big job. Even in the bad Superman movies, Hackman was always good. Fortunately, Kevin Spacey is more than up to the task.

Spacey first came to fame in another Singer film, crime drama The Usual Suspects. (We're not going to spoil the end of that movie, in case you don't know who Kaiser Soze is.) Spacey's portrayal of palsied patsy Verbal Kint launched his career and allowed him to do really good work like Pay It Forward and K-Pax.

Check out some of his pre-Suspects movies, like Swimming With Sharks, in which he plays an evil Hollywood talent agent long before Ari Gold blew hot air on HBO, and the quintessential guy-talk movie Glengarry Glen Ross, where he perfected the sad-sack character.

In 1999, he scored a Best Actor Oscar for his role as the downtrodden, suburban everyman in the darkly beautiful American Beauty.

James Marsden

James is best known for playing the X-Men's squeaky-clean leader, Cyclops, in the X-Men movies. James also had a regular role in the fifth season of Ally McBeal. In Superman Returns, he portrays Lois Lane's love interest, Richard White. Whether he'll be able to keep Lois' interest once Superman reappears remains to be seen in the movie. He's also had roles on Blossom, Party of Five, and more.

Eva Marie Saint

Superman's mother, Martha Kent, is played by actress Eva Marie Saint, whose movie career began with On the Waterfront, which starred Marlon Brando. Her performance in that movie earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She had some terrific films early in her career, like Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest. She headed back to television and stage in the 1980s and had many roles in made-for-TV movies. Eva had a recurring role on Moonlighting as Virginia Hayes, Maddie's mother. She was also seen in Frasier and How the West Was Won.

Frank Langella

If you know Frank Langella only as the tough acting coach in the short-lived HBO series Unscripted, you haven't scratched the surface on this guy. The actor, who plays newspaper editor Perry White in the new Superman movie, has had a long and varied career on stage and in film and TV.

He won an Obie Award in 1965 for The Old Glory and a Tony Award in 1975 for the play Seascape. In 1979 he starred as the titular character in an Edward Gorey-inspired film version of Dracula. In 2002 he won both a Tony and a Drama Desk award for his work in the play Fortune's Fool. Most importantly, in 1987 he played the role of Skeletor opposite Dolph Lundgren's He-Man in the Masters of the Universe film.

Parker Posey

At first, Parker Posey may seem an odd choice to star in a big-budget comic-book blockbuster, but when you consider that Bryan Singer has always made inspired casting choices (Ian McKellen as Magneto), then the choice to cast her as Kitty, Lex Luthor's right-hand woman, makes perfect sense.

In the '90s, Posey was the indie movie "it" girl, starring in a string of art-house hits like House of Yes, Flirt, and The Doom Generation. As a chameleon-like member of Christopher Guest's semipermanent cast, her comedic abilities flourished. She had memorable roles in his films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind.

She did star in that awful Pepsi commercial with Jimmy Fallon, but we'll forgive her.

Sam Huntington

Sam Huntington plays snap-happy Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olson. Huntington has a recurring role on the cult teen detective show Veronica Mars, and he costars with his Mars lead, Kristen Bell, in the upcoming Fanboys, about Star Wars fans who go on a road trip.

Huntington has also appeared in the movie Jungle 2 Jungle, with Tim Allen, and in the rowdy music comedy Detroit Rock City. Acting is in his genes: His great uncle was film star Ralph Bellamy.

Kal Penn

Kal Penn is probably most fondly remembered as Kumar in the surprisingly clever stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Go to Whitecastle. Or perhaps you know him as Taj from the predictably unclever National Lampoon's Van Wilder. Offscreen, Penn has been friends with Superman actor Brandon Routh for several years.

Penn's role as Stanford, a henchman of Lex Luthor, is a good chance for the actor to break out of playing the role of "wacky Indian guy." That is, after he finishes National Lampoon's Van Wilder 2: Rise of the Taj and Harold & Kumar Go to Amsterdam.

SUPERMAN, SUPERGIRL, KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG, JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. Marketing, Media Campaign and Release Information Subject to Change. © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

LIVE-ACTION SUPERMAN ON TV

Smallville

At this point, Tom Welling is as much a fan favorite as any actor who has ever played Superman. His portrayal of a young Clark Kent growing up in Smallville has been exciting to watch. He's got the look and the right demeanor, and at first it seemed unfair that another actor would be chosen to play Superman in the new movie. But Tom and the cast still have plenty of work cut out for them. Smallville has been an unconventional take on Clark's life with Lana and Lex, but it has worked successfully and has become a long-running hit series. Whether we'll ever see Tom formally suited up as Superman remains to be seen, but with the new movie and actor hitting the scene, it feels like the chances of that happening just got more remote.

Adventures of Superman

This show may seem cheesy now, but back when America had some self-respect, this show was a shining example of good old-fashioned TV escapism. It captured the iconic character so well that even with its severely dated special effects and dialogue, it is the yardstick by which all versions are measured.

George Reeves played Superman, and he was completely believable as the son of Jor-El. Too believable, in fact--the actor was never able to shake the role and never did any work of note following the series' cancellation. Eventually, fighting for truth, justice, and the American way took its toll, and Reeves slid into depression and died in 1959. Controversy still surrounds his death, which was ruled a suicide.

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

This show was an update of the mythology, with an accent on the romantic comedy angle. When audiences got a look at it, they cried, "Oh, what a frothy mixture of sassy sexiness and heroic derring-do!"

Before Teri Hatcher was a sexy Housewife who falls into bushes on Wisteria Lane, she was a sexy reporter falling into Superman's arms. Hatcher played feisty Lois Lane, an intrepid Daily Planet reporter, and Dean Cain played the Man of Steel.

This series had a great first two seasons, until network meddling caused the writers to "jump the shark" with amnesia and wedding storylines. Worst of all, the series ended with an unresolved cliff-hanger.

Lois & Clark put Cain on the map, and its cancellation took him off the map.

The Adventures of Superboy

Believe it or not, this show was on the air for four seasons. Thanks to the recent DVD release of season one, Superboy has escaped being erased from our collective memories by Smallville. There's plenty to enjoy here, since movie producer Alexander Salkind was involved and comic-book writers like Denny O'Neil and J.M. DeMatteis wrote many of the scripts. They also managed the feat of casting one-time James Bond actor George Lazenby as Jor-El, a terrific bit of fanboy casting. Stacy Haiduk as Lana Lang was another stand-out among the cast, and she no doubt had plenty of young male fans while the show was on the air. Superboy was played by two actors over the course of the show--Gerard Christopher and John Newton--both of whom, if you check their credits, also later appeared on Melrose Place. If the rest of the series is released on DVD, this show may just reemerge as a favorite among Superman fans.

SUPERMAN, SUPERGIRL, KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG, JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. Marketing, Media Campaign and Release Information Subject to Change. © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

ANIMATED SUPERMAN ON TV

Justice League Unlimited

Justice League was quite simply the best superhero cartoon ever, from DC or Marvel. The characterizations and use of actual comic-book storylines ensured this series a place in the heart of every comic-book fan. The recently departed Justice League Unlimited let a heroic but humanly flawed Superman slip through at times, just as DC Comics has in recent years in various comic-book series. One of the joys of the series was seeing Superman paired up with all the characters from the DC Comics universe. This was also done in Super Friends, but Justice League captured the spirit and mythology of the comic books much better. And George Newbern's voicing was perfectly cast. The series may be gone, but DC Comics has a revamped Justice League of America comic book series waiting in the wings.

SuperFriends

SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show

Who doesn't love Super Friends? First off, it's got a lot of heroes all rolled up into one show. They have to work together, and each one gets his or her moment in the sun.

Second, it's called Super Friends. Break that down. Super. Friends. Meaning eachand every one of them is super, in his or her own way, and they are all friends with each other and, most importantly, with you. No more lonely Saturday mornings sitting in front of the TV stuffing your sad, lonely mouth with Rice Chex (because your mom won't buy you the sugary cereals). Now, you have a whole team of friends--super friends--to protect you from the yawning abyss of your own isolation!

Superman (1996 animated series)

In the beginning there was Justice League Unlimited, but after the cool '90s Batman cartoon came along, there was Superman: The Animated Series. It was a bright, colorful, faithful adaptation that guest-starred quite a few other DC heroes. The Clark Kent/Lois Lane relationship was played out perfectly, with the intrepid Lois unable to hide her feelings for Superman and always wishing they could meet sometime other than when she was being rescued. The dastardly businessman version of Lex Luthor that emerged in the 1980s comic books was the recurring villain and was also written and voiced effectively.

The New Adventures of Superman (1966)

The Adventures of Superboy (1966)

These two animated series consisted of shorts that ran together under different program names. The first season featured two six-minute Superman cartoons with one six-minute Superboy cartoon played in between them, all under the title The New Adventures of Superman. In the 1967-1968 season, the episodes ran as part of The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. This hour-long animated show featured episodes from a number of other cartoon series: Aquaman, The Green Lantern, Hawkman, The Justice League of America, The Atom, The Flash, and The Teen Titans. The third and final season, 1968-1969, featured new episodes of both series as part of The Batman/Superman Hour.

Krypto the Superdog

Man's best friend is Superman's super best friend in this animated series. The show, now in its second season, tells the story of the Kryptonian four-legged champion of Metropolis.

Krypto lands on Earth, alone and homeless. He meets up with lonely Kevin Whitney, and the two begin fighting crime all over town. Kevin even cleans up Krypto's super poops on the sidewalk.

SUPERMAN, SUPERGIRL, KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG, JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. Marketing, Media Campaign and Release Information Subject to Change. © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

NEW DVDS

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman--The Complete Third Season Watch Video Clip

The New Adventures of Superman was a phenomenal television success. A much more lavish version of the popular Superman television series that had first aired 40 years earlier, Lois & Clark focused more on the Man of Steel's early adult years in Metropolis. It made Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain famous, both of whom have lately enjoyed successful career revivals. The series allowed the relationship between the two title characters to grow and develop naturally, as it might in real life. A ratings problem began in the third season, when the network insisted on a fake wedding. The non-wedding arc included a clone, a kidnapping, and even amnesia. It would have been bearable if the famous couple had ended up together, but the network was afraid of the Remington Steel curse and refused to allow it. This led to some interesting season rewrites, because the original intent was to allow the marriage to occur. With the six-disc set of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - The Complete Third Season you can witness this storyline unfolding for yourself and judge whether it has held up well.

The Adventures of Superman--Seasons Three and Four Watch Video Clip

This is Superman like folks had never seen him before--in color! The third season marked the first time that the show was broadcast in glorious color, allowing the world to see his pretty red-and-blue tights.

In this five-disc set, 26 episodes are on tap for your enjoyment. Superman has to go back in time to 50,000 BC to fight dinosaurs, he dukes it out with uptight European monarchs, and he stumbles across a mysterious hatch on a remote desert island.

Plus, inside this DVD set is a movie ticket for Superman Returns.

Justice League--Season Two Watch Video Clip

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl form the Justice League, a powerful force for good in the universe. In season two, one member of the League betrays the group, sending the team into chaos and putting the world in jeopardy.

In this four-disc set, you'll get 26 action-packed episodes. In the bonus feature Justice League Declassified, Phil LaMarr, the voice actor who plays Green Lantern, brings you into the inner workings of the creative team and shows you what goes on behind the scenes of an animated series.

Superman: Brainiac Attacks Watch Video Clip

Superman: Brainiac Attacks was a bright, colorful, faithful adaptation that guest-starred quite a few other DC heroes. The Clark Kent/Lois Lane relationship was played out perfectly, with the intrepid Lois unable to hide her feelings for Superman and always wishing they could meet sometime other than when she was being rescued. The dastardly businessman version of Lex Luthor that emerged in the 1980s comic books was the recurring villain and was also written and voiced effectively. Superman: Brainiac Attacks is an original Superman cartoon movie recently released on DVD, and it features a battle between Superman and Lex Luthor, his longtime nemesis.

Look up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman Watch Video Clip

A new documentary tells the story of Superman through the years: from comic books to cartoons to TV to movies, and includes footage from Superman Returns. Watch a video clip preview of the documentary here or from our Lois & Clark video page.

SUPERMAN, SUPERGIRL, KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG, JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. Marketing, Media Campaign and Release Information Subject to Change. © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

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