Superboy is a half-hour live-action television series based on Kal-El's early years as Superboy. It depicted Superboy's adventures during his college years, his meetings with Lex Luthor and his romance with Lana Lang.
The show ran from 1988–1992 in syndication, and was renamed The Adventures of Superboy at the start of the third season. John Haymes Newton played Superboy in the first season, while Gerard Christopher replaced him for the second, third and fourth season.
The Superboy series was brought to the screen by executive producers Ilya and Alexander Salkind, the producers of the first three Superman movies and the 1984 Supergirl movie. This series and the release of the 1988 Superman animated series on CBS coincided with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Superman character that year. Ironically, the series came about a year after DC Comics had "erased" the character of Superboy from their continuity in The Man of Steel reboot by John Byrne.
This version of "Superboy" featured Clark Kent/Superboy in college at Shuster University in Siegelville, Florida (names which reference Superman's creators, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel). This was, of course, due partially to the fact that the show was filmed in Orlando, Florida. Superboy was the first weekly TV series to be produced at the then new Disney/MGM Studios. For the second season onward, the series moved several miles down Interstate 4 to Universal Studios Florida, the largest motion picture and television-sound facility outside Hollywood, where it was then showcased as that studio's first weekly television product.
At first, much of the action centered around stories that Clark and T.J. reported on for the college newspaper, the Shuster Herald. All the exterior scenes shot at "Shuster University" are actually filmed on the main campus of the University of Central Florida. Siegelville, however, was depicted as a coastal city, as evidenced by imagery of both the new and old Sunshine Skyway Bridges in St. Petersburg, Florida in the opening credits.
The second season continued much of the first seaon's tone, whereas the third and fourth were progressively darker akin to film noir. The character of TJ was written out after the first season by saying he had graduated from Shuster. A new roommate, Andy McAllister, was brought in. Also Superboy was recast after disagreements with Jon Newton, who had run afoul of the Salkinds by demanding a 20% increase in his pay package for the second season, then shortly afterwards was arrested for drunk driving. A combination of dissatisfaction and desire to stave off bad publicity led to Newton's termination and replacement with Gerard Christopher (who, unlike many actors to take the role, was a longtime Superman fan and relished the chance).
The series was originally distributed in the US by Viacom, which held TV rights to the third and fourth Superman movies as well as the Supergirl movie at the time. International TV rights and worldwide home video rights are now with Warner Bros., who has released all four seasons on DVD, while after corporate changes, CBS (who co-owns the CW, current broadcaster of the Supergirl TV series - which initially aired on CBS - with WB) now has TV rights in the US (the TV rights to Superman III and the Supergirl film have reverted to WB, while Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures, via Trifeca Entertainment & Media, has US TV rights to Superman IV as part of the Cannon Films library; Paramount was incidentally the studio behind the 1940s cartoons) - all of this is a result of a settlement between Ilya Salkind and WB. The underlying rights to the series are now with Salkind and StudioCanal.
|Superman Television Series (V)|
|Live-Action||Adventures of Superman • The Adventures of Superboy • The Adventures of Superpup • Superboy • Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman • Smallville • Supergirl (Arrowverse appearances) • Krypton • Metropolis (Upcoming)|
|Animated|| 'Superman' Fleischer cartoons • Superman (1988 Animated Series) • Superman: The Animated Series • Krypto the Superdog • Legion of Super-Heroes |
Justice League series: Super Friends • Justice League Unlimited • Young Justice • Justice League Action
|Webisodes and other shorts||The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman • Chloe Chronicles • Smallville Legends: Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton • Super Best Friends Forever • Superman of Tokyo • World's Funnest|