Watch Superheroes on PBS. See more from Pioneers of Television.

In case you missed last night’s PBS documentary on superheroes, you can watch it above—or at this link if the embed isn’t working. The program includes a Wizard World all-star festival of folks like Lou Ferrigno, Burt Ward, Adam West, and Lynda Carter talking about playing superheroes. They are all veteran charmers, and when we have a spare 53 minutes, we plan on watching the whole thing. A supporting webpage has background and stills—such as the above one of Julie Newmar as Catwoman—and some extra videos.


The show is part of PBS’s Pioneers of Television series. It is narrated by Ryan Seacrest, but that’s okay.

You know, Wonder Woman is pretty freaking cool. Hurry up, Amazon!


  1. Fluff? How is this considered fluff?
    Last night’s Superheros episode of “Pioneers of Television” is only one part of (thus far) a three season series that have covered various genres, creators, performers, etc… of the medium of television. Doesn’t it make sense that PBS should carry programming that tells and recounts the history of mans accomplishments? (BTW, right after Superheroes “American Experience” ran a fascinating two hour episode on the life of Henry Ford)

  2. “I hate to say this, but does this kind of fluff belong on PBS?”
    No. It’s the kind of navel-gazing nostalgia-fest that used to fit comfortably on TVLand inbetween Batman reruns.

  3. Where will our children ever learn about those visionary pioneers of superhero television without PBS? There’s a danger that they might go through their childhood unexposed to Warner-Bros and Disney-owned characters. And I think we can all agree that nothing says “Pioneers of Television” like Wonder Woman and Lou Ferrigno.

  4. Fluff?
    I didn’t know out of the hundreds (thousands?) of hours across the hundreds of channels on TV & cable that a one hour episode about the pioneers of TV superheroes would need to be under such a microscope. They covered some good history and background going back to the 1950s. Legitimate history is fluff now?

    I would hope the history of the first TV female superhero is not on par with the fluff of Honey Boo Boo and the pantheon of *reality TV* series clogging the airwaves nowadays. If one wonders which is a better use of time then I would suggest reading a different news blog. Perhaps TMZ?

  5. “No. It’s the kind of navel-gazing nostalgia-fest that used to fit comfortably on TVLand inbetween Batman reruns.”

    Wow. You are just a completely and utterly joyless person. I’m glad things in life like this don’t bum me out as much as they apparently bum you out.

  6. I didn’t see it, but it does sound suspiciously like those talking head “Stan Lee/superheroes/comic book” documentaries that tv stations bust out every time there is a superhero movie on the horizon. Was it like one of those? About the power of myth and making sure that people can relate to the characters?

  7. Zach, you’re partly right… it had *some* of that, true, but since the series is about “The pioneers of Television” it was more about production, filming, ratings, popularity, actors, and legacy. It’s just one of episodic themes of this PBS *series* — next up are the pioneers of the TV mini-series (ex; Roots, Shogun, et.).

    But since this is the Internet I’m sure someone will probably complain about the history of slavery as fluff TV entertainment, too. Hahah!

  8. This was pretty good. I love watching Burt Ward dance around the fact that he hates and resents Adam West (watch the Batman (1966) commentary for more on that).

  9. I enjoyed it. I could have used less Joan van Ark and Ed Begley jr. and more Noel Neill and Yvonne Craig. But it was great that they got Jack Larson, Lynda Carter, Newmar, Ward & West, William Katt, Ferrigno and even Culp and Steven J. Cannell before their deaths.

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