There has been a surge in TV shows based on DC Comics in recent years with “Supergirl,” “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” But that hasn’t always been then case. DC struggled for decades to get TV shows featuring its costumed characters on the air.
Only Superman has been able to sustain any success, starting with “The Adventures of Superman” that ran from 1952-1958. Since then there have been several TV shows starring the Man of Steel, including “Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman.”
If you couple the TV shows with Superman feature films, there has been a lot of different actors playing roles familiar to comic book readers. One of the best, Noel Neill, died July 3 at the age of 95.
Neill took on the role of Lois Lane in “The Adventures of Superman” when Phyllis Coates left after the first season.
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Her Lois Lane was always getting in trouble, just like the way the character was being written in the ’40s and ’50s. But Neill brought spunk and energy to the role that kept the character from feeling like a damsel in distress. Neill will always be the perfect Lois Lane because she showed a strength and fighting spirit with the role that has not been matched.
A lot of actors have taken on the role of Lois Lane on TV and film. Here are how all the others stack up.
▪ Erica Durance “Smallville”: Her Lois Lane had the same kind of fire as the one played by Noel Neill. She was just a little young because of the nature of the show to be the top Lois in the group.
▪ Margot Kidder “Superman”: The launch of the Superman film franchise in 1978 got a lot of help from Kidder.
▪ Teri Hatcher “Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman”: A good Lois Lane, but a little too giddy at times.
▪ Kate Bosworth “Superman Returns”: The added duties of playing a mom took away from her openings to play the tough reporter.
▪ Phyllis Coates “The Adventures of Superman”: Didn’t bring the strength needed and left after only a year.
▪ Amy Adams “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”: Her Lois Lane is the blandest of them all.
On the road again
The Showtime series “Roadies” offers a behind-the-scenes look at the music world from the viewpoint of the people who keep the tour machinery running. The series, starring Luke Wilson and Carla Gugino, mines comedy out of the music scene’s unsung heroes.
Series creator Cameron Crowe knows about the music industry from his 2000 movie “Almost Famous,” which has a large following.
“I love music, and I love stories where music is a character. I think over time, I was really struck by the fact that ‘Almost Famous’ spoke pretty loudly to people. It was a very personal movie that I didn’t expect would kind of touch people in that way,” Crowe says. “I wanted to revisit the world of writing about music, but from a slightly different perspective, and also in a contemporary setting.”
Crowe is joined by J.J. Abrams as an executive producer on the series. Abrams jokes now that when he finished with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” he was looking for work.
The truth is the pair have been talking about doing a series like “Roadies” since 2007.
“It’s a family show. I mean, it’s about this family, and whereas most family stories, the family is bound by blood, this family is bound by the love of music,” Abrams says.
“Roadies” airs 10 p.m. Sundays on Showtime.
New home: The CW Network will broadcast the entire first season of “Supergirl” on Monday nights starting Aug. 1, with two episodes each week. This will continue until the new season premieres at 8 p.m. Oct. 10. “Supergirl” is moving to the CW after a year on CBS.
New food: Andrew Zimmern believes the best way to explore a city is to get to know the locals, and in Travel Channel’s new series “Andrew Zimmern’s Driven By Food,” premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, the first local he usually meets is his cab driver. The new series turns to neighborhood drivers to set the itinerary.
New job: Rob Lowe has joined the cast of the medical drama “Code Black” as a series regular. His character will be introduced in the series’ second-season premiere, at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, on CBS.
Lowe’s previous series, “The Grinder,” will not return.
Lowe will play Colonel Ethan Willis, a doctor in the U.S. military’s prestigious Combat Casualty Care research program who has been pulled out of a combat hospital in Afghanistan and embedded at Angels Memorial to teach what the military has learned about combat medicine.