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The original 1960's Batman series was an interesting show. It was full of camp, but it was highly successful. It only lasted 3 measely seasons, but that took them to a whopping 120 episodes! (most seasons only last 22 episodes).
I didn't come into existence until well after the show was canceled, but it was still in full syndication while I was growing up and I actually liked it a lot (not so much these days though). As far as I can tell, every plot revolved around 2 episodes, the first ending on a cliffhanger and the second would resolve it. It was quite brilliant actually as kids could easily get hooked on the cliffhanger knowing there would be a resolution the following week!
My understanding is that stories got weaker and the budget was being cut, and the show was ultimately canceled due to low ratings. Interestingly enough, Adam "Batman" West claimed that the show started to fail when ABC began airing 2 episodes in the same week -- he felt that the lack of weekly suspense is what caused the ratings downfall. Who knows?
Also airing on ABC (the same year as Batman) was the Green Hornet tv show starring Van Williams and the awesome Bruce Lee. I won't lie -- I've never actually seen a full episode of the Green Hornet, but my understanding is that it didn't have the campiness that the Batman tv show. Lasting only 26 episodes, the Green Hornet was eventually canceled, but we do have a movie reboot coming soon. It's too bad, since we can never get enough of Bruce Lee.
Did you know that there was a Batman / Green Hornet crossover? It's true. No need to try and explain the episode to you... that's what youtube is for...
What did you think of the Batman and Green Hornet tv series?