The internet has thrown out the rumor that Warner Bros. is contemplating doing a live-action "Batman" series once Christopher Nolan's final Batman movie is released in 2012.
The new TV series would serve as a sequel to the Nolan films.
WB, through the WB and CW networks, have tried various live-action Bat-TV series in the past. A "Young Bruce Wayne" pilot was written, designed to go in conjunction with "Smallville," but it was never made. It would have focused on Bruce Wayne's life while he trained to become Batman. Another pilot, "The Graysons," was also proposed, following the teen years of Dick Grayson, aka Robin, but that idea never flew either.
Batman sort of appeared in the WB series "Birds of Prey," based upon the popular comic book series, but that show only lasted a season.
So why is Batman, arguably the greatest comic book hero ever, not a good candidate to return to the small screen?
A few reasons.
1. The 1960s campy TV show starring Adam West kind of ruined the image of the Dark Knight for decades, and it's the first thing people would think of when they think of Batman on TV.
2. Basing a new TV series on the Nolan movies wouldn't work, since the show wouldn't have Nolan, star Christian Bale, or the same sort of budget that make the films such a joy to watch.
3. Warners has already done a great job with the character on its various animated series going back to 1992, when actor Kevin Conroy first voiced the character for "Batman: The Animated Series," which had later spinoffs including "Justice League" and "Batman Beyond." Currently, the cartoon airs the wonderfully witty "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" with Diedrich Bader in the role. So why take away from a good thing?
Warners is looking for a replacement for "Smallville," which will end this year after a succesful 10-year run. But a Batman series would be at least a couple of years off, so it couldn't fill the hole in the CW's lineup immediately.
Some people are accusing Warners of trying to kill the golden goose by putting forth the idea of a Batman TV series, and it's hard not to agree with that school of thought.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Speaking of "Smallville," (CW, 8 p.m.), Michael Hogan guest stars as Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, while Aquaman returns. Anytime you have Michael Hogan wearing an eyepatch, it makes for good TV. It's followed by "Supernatural."
CBS is all-new with "Medium," "CSI: NY" and "Blue Bloods" from 8-11 p.m. Fox has a new episode of "The Good Guys."
On cable, "Law & Order: UK" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) is new, as is "Sanctuary" (SyFy, 10 p.m.)
On Sunday, "Doctor Who" fans should particularly enjoy "Masterpiece" (PBS, 9 p.m.), which presents a biopic of John Lennon. Christopher Eccleston plays the title role, while "Torchwood's" Naoko Mori plays Yoko Ono. And "Masterpiece" is hosted by David Tennant.
In a weird mix of live action and animation, Bill Maher appears as himself on "Family Guy" (Fox, 9 p.m.) as the animated Brian appears as a guest on his show to promote his new book. It's part of Fox's all-new animation block.
"The Amazing Race" (CBS, 8 p.m.) sends the teams to Bangladesh, followed by "Undercover Boss" and "CSI: Miami." ABC broadcasts The American Music Awards beginning at 8 p.m.
Most of the Sunday awesomeness is on cable, however, as "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 9 p.m.) is down to its final three episodes, followed by "Big Love" at 10 p.m. Showtime has a new "Dexter" at 9 p.m., while AMC's zombie hit "The Walking Dead" is at 10 p.m.