ABC (ended 1984)
"On a scale of 1 to 10, think of me as... an 11."
Thus begins the life of Automan and his creator, Walter Nebicher. Nebicher, a computer specialist at Los Angeles Police Department, creates a sophisticated computer program he calls Automan, the world's first fully automatic man. With enough power, the Automan hologram could become solid and "real." Originally, Automan was only able to run at night, his tremendous power requirements given as the explanation, power which was only available after daytime hours. The production reason was that the glowing costume looked better in dark settings. However, this was abandoned within the first few episodes as the effects were refined and Automan donned normal clothing in public, with only small glowing portions visible at the collar and cuffs.
Automan has a helper called Cursor which creates objects that Automan can manipulate such as the Autocar, Autocopter and Autoplane, as well as creating realistic illusions. Cursor was given its own separate credit (as "himself") in the opening titles.
Automan can talk to any computer, see and walk through walls and even protect Walter by surrounding him with his "aura."
As with every superhero, Automan has limitations. His power depends on the electricity available on the grid. If he gets too much input he could also dissolve without notice.
Supporting characters included Roxanne Caldwell, a young policewoman that Walter is attracted to, Captain Boyd, Walter's cantankerous, computer-hating commanding officer, and Lieutenant Jack Curtis, the only higher-up who has faith in Walter. Boyd constantly calls Nebicher, "Nebbish."
The series drew inspiration for its effects and premise of a digital being from the 1982 motion picture Tron and used a combination of traditional cel animation and some computer graphics. It was canceled after only 13 episodes, originally airing as a lead-in for Masquerade, another 1983 mid-season series also from executive producer Glen Larson.moreless