As eager fans await the November 11 authorized release of the 1960s Batman television series on DVD and Blu-ray, Jake Rossen looks at the tangled web that kept the show relegated to bootleg status for nearly 50 years:
“ABC bought television and film rights to the character from DC precursor National Periodical Publications for $7,000. (National, which saw its comics sales tanking, was happy to get it.) To produce the show, ABC relied on 20th Century Fox and Greenway Productions, a company headed by former CBS executive William Dozier. Fox and Greenway split ownership of the series, with Greenway owning the footage and Fox owning the exclusive rights to distribute. (Greenway would get 50 percent of profits after expenses had been deducted.) When he died in 1991, Dozier’s share of the Batman property was split among his daughter Deborah Dozier Potter, his son Robert Dozier, and Greenway’s lawyers, Jacque Leslie and Barry Rubin.
For those keeping track, that’s a lot of Bat-pieces in a lot of Bat-places.”
(Image: Burt Ward as Robin and Adam West as Batman, 20th Century Fox)