Since the dawn of television, network executives have been in desperate need of new content to fill their broadcast schedules. Comic books have certainly helped in this regard, providing inspiration for several popular TV shows over the past 60 years.
From the classic Adventures of Superman series in the 1950s, through to Marvel Studios’ recent Netflix output, numerous superhero properties have been translated to the small screen. Even comics not centered around costumed adventurers have served as the basis for TV shows, including horror phenomenon The Walking Dead.
That’s just the live-action side of things – when animated outings are taken into account, the number of comic book-based TV programmes skyrockets. Not only have these shows proven a hit with audiences over the years, but many are also held in high regard by critics, with shows like Batman: The Animated Series considered a high watermark for the medium.
Not every comic book TV show gets the green-light from networks. Indeed, a surprising number of comics-inspired series were abandoned very late in the day – often after substantial pre-production work had been undertaken or a full-blown pilot produced!
With this in mind, here are 20 comic book TV shows that almost happened.