Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman debuted 25 years ago this month on ABC. We take a look back at the 2-hour pilot of the series on today’s podcast.

Brief background/history

  • Two-hour “Pilot” episode first aired Sunday September 12, 1993
  • Aired 4 seasons (1993-1997) on ABC, 87 episodes total
  • Superhero stuff at the time – Batman Returns (1992)
  • Superman recent history – Superman IV (1987), Superboy TV series (1988-1992), The Death of Superman in comics (1992)
  • First live-action Superman TV series since 1950s George Reeves Adventures of Superman
  • Written by series creator Deborah Joy Levine, directed by Robert Butler (also directed original Star Trek pilot and pilot for Batman)
  • First Superman media to adapt John Byrne’s post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Superman reboot, focusing more on Clark Kent and featuring a less powerful Superman

Story synopsis

  • Establishes Daily Planet – Lois as reporter, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and Cat Grant
  • Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis – saves a bus from pedestrians, tries to get a job at the Daily Planet
  • Clark takes Lois’ assignment on a local theater being turned into a parking lot to get a job at DP
  • Space station Prometheus sabotage – Doctor Platt and his family, Superman eats bomb, gives it a boost
  • Clark visits Kents in Smallville – wants a normal life and family while still helping people
  • Lex Luthor’s ball and dinner with Lois. Lex wants to build Space Station Luthor
  • Lois and Jimmy go to investigate Prometheus
  • Clark goes to save her, but gets caught too.
  • Clark wants to develop a secret identity for action in Metropolis
  • Costume montage – first glimpse of Superman costume ~ 77 minutes “What if someone recognizes you?”
  • Superman flies the rocket to the station
  • Ending – “all you have to do is look up”
  • Special effects/powers seen – fixing light bulb/walking on wall, fast typing, x-ray vision, heat vision, flying from Metropolis to Smallville


  • Dean Cain as Clark Kent/Superman – “Superman is what I can do. Clark is who I am.” (from Season 2, episode 18)
  • Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane
  • Lane Smith as Perry White
  • Michael Landes as Jimmy Olsen
  • Tracy Scoggins as Cat Grant
  • K Callan and Eddie Jones as Martha and Jonathan Kent
  • John Shea as Lex Luthor – businessman, not mad scientist
  • Other DC characters – Lucy Lane, Inspector Henderson (on phone)

Superman mythology

  • Heavily inspired by post-crisis Superman – Clark is the focus, the Kents are still around
  • Martha makes costume, establishing secret identity and love triangle
  • Doesn’t touch heavily on Superman’s background – Krypton, powers, Fortress of Solitude, glasses

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