Batman Ratings

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 am

clavierankh wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:34 pm
The highest ranked second season episode I have date for is Batman's Anniversary. 20.7 and 34.9 share. Perhaps it was a curiosity factor to see the new Riddler.
If true, then a 50-year bit of perception (meaning no one liked Astin as the Riddler / it was a "disaster") sold as fact has been debunked. Astin obviously had his own style and in many ways, his Riddler appeared to be more intelligent and threatening than most Bat-TV villains.
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Bob Furmanek
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by Bob Furmanek » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:14 am

Here's some data on the Feb 16/17 shows: A Riddle a Day...:

Image
Image

Detailed ratings for the 2nd season Archer premiere. Contrary to normal first season performance, the Thursday night did worse.

I bet those numbers sent up red flags and there has to be correspondence about this issue in the Dozier files.

Image

Image

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Bob Furmanek
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by Bob Furmanek » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:41 am

With the movie under-performing in theatres and those poor ratings, they must have known they were in trouble by the fall of 1966.

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gothosmansion
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by gothosmansion » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:18 pm

Thanks for the work that has gone into this thread.



I'm surprised Batman's ratings had dropped to this point. I didn't think any of the later first season episodes weren't entertaining.

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Ben Bentley
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by Ben Bentley » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:06 am

Great work as always, Bob! Let's keep digging!

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Bob Furmanek
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by Bob Furmanek » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:36 am

I'm pretty sure that I've shared these before but here are some relevant articles:

November 3, 1966
Ratings Nov 3 1966 a.jpg
Ratings Nov 3 1966 b.jpg

February 3, 1967

Image

Somewhere I have an article that addresses the huge ratings dip in the first season's summer reruns beginning in May 1966. They suggest that kids are out playing and that's why viewers have dropped.

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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:10 pm

Reading period reports really does lend support to the long-lived idea that the public fascination with the '66 series faded quickly--even before the movie's underwhelming performance. It did not help that Dozier relied on gimmicks such as "celebrity" guests instead of working to make the plot drive everything.
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High C
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by High C » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:30 am

BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 am
clavierankh wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:34 pm
The highest ranked second season episode I have date for is Batman's Anniversary. 20.7 and 34.9 share. Perhaps it was a curiosity factor to see the new Riddler.
If true, then a 50-year bit of perception (meaning no one liked Astin as the Riddler / it was a "disaster") sold as fact has been debunked. Astin obviously had his own style and in many ways, his Riddler appeared to be more intelligent and threatening than most Bat-TV villains.
Fair point, but it would be interesting to see if the ratings held up Thursday for the conclusion, or if some viewers said, 'he's not MY Riddler' and bailed. That said, I never have had as much of a problem with Astin's portrayal as many people do. He was wise to give it his own spin. Nobody could do Gorshin.

Also, thanks to clavierankh, Bob and Ben for all the ratings numbers in this thread. All thought-provoking.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17

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High C
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by High C » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:56 pm

Some great points, Bob. A TV guide cover in those days definitely would juice up the ratings, and a 'Close-Up' would help somewhat, too. And as you said, I am sure the ratings for the first two weeks of season 2 must have raised red flags at Greenway.
BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:10 pm
Reading period reports really does lend support to the long-lived idea that the public fascination with the '66 series faded quickly--even before the movie's underwhelming performance. It did not help that Dozier relied on gimmicks such as "celebrity" guests instead of working to make the plot drive everything.
I concur. As has been said many times here and on both the To The Batpoles and Batcave podcasts, it was a mistake to build arcs around actors (people in Dozier's rolodex) rather than writing good villain characters and then finding actors to play them. In essence, the tail was wagging the dog.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17

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bat-rss
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by bat-rss » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:44 am

Lots of great info here! Thanks everyone.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, for an adult in the '60s, Batman was probably a one-note joke, even at its Semplian peak. Those folks lost interest even when the writing was good and Semple was still on board, as we can see in the ratings. In season two, with Semple mostly absent and Hoffman a less-than-compelling replacement, and Dozier's friends clamoring to be on the show so their grandkids could see, the first-season direction of the show was lost.

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Bob Furmanek
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by Bob Furmanek » Thu May 07, 2020 5:49 am

From Daily Variety: May 4, 1966. The first sign of diminished ratings after the King Tut episodes.

66.5.4 ratings.JPG

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Ben Bentley
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by Ben Bentley » Thu May 07, 2020 6:24 am

Bob Furmanek wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 5:49 am
From Daily Variety: May 4, 1966. The first sign of diminished ratings after the King Tut episodes.


66.5.4 ratings.JPG
Interesting that it states "December" rather than January... A genuine mistake or is it feasible this is from 1967?

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Bob Furmanek
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by Bob Furmanek » Thu May 07, 2020 12:15 pm

It's a VERY old expression popularized in a song written by James J. Walker in 1905.

Now, in the summer of life, sweetheart
You say you love but me
Gladly I give all my heart to you
Throbbing with ecstasy
But last night I saw, while a-dreaming,
The future old and gray,
And I wondered if you'll love me then, dear
Just as you do today?
Will you love me in December as you do in May?
Will you love me in the good old-fashioned way?
When my hair has all turned gray,
Will you kiss me then and say,
That you love me in December as you do in May?
You say the glow on my cheek, sweetheart
Is like the rose so sweet
But when the bloom of fair youth has flown
Then will our lips still meet?
When life's setting sun fades away, dear,
And all is said and done,
Will you arms still entwine and caress me?
Will our hearts beat as one?
Will you love me in December as you do in May?
Will you love me in the good old-fashioned way?
When my hair has all turned gray,
Will you kiss me then and say,
That you love me in December as you do in May?

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Ben Bentley
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by Ben Bentley » Thu May 07, 2020 12:18 pm

Bob Furmanek wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:15 pm
It's a VERY old expression popularized in a song written by James J. Walker in 1905.

Now, in the summer of life, sweetheart
You say you love but me
Gladly I give all my heart to you
Throbbing with ecstasy
But last night I saw, while a-dreaming,
The future old and gray,
And I wondered if you'll love me then, dear
Just as you do today?
Will you love me in December as you do in May?
Will you love me in the good old-fashioned way?
When my hair has all turned gray,
Will you kiss me then and say,
That you love me in December as you do in May?
You say the glow on my cheek, sweetheart
Is like the rose so sweet
But when the bloom of fair youth has flown
Then will our lips still meet?
When life's setting sun fades away, dear,
And all is said and done,
Will you arms still entwine and caress me?
Will our hearts beat as one?
Will you love me in December as you do in May?
Will you love me in the good old-fashioned way?
When my hair has all turned gray,
Will you kiss me then and say,
That you love me in December as you do in May?
Everyday is a school day! Thanks as always, Bob!

robinboyblunderer
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Re: Batman Ratings

Post by robinboyblunderer » Thu May 07, 2020 8:49 pm

High C wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:56 pm
it was a mistake to build arcs around actors (people in Dozier's rolodex) rather than writing good villain characters and then finding actors to play them.
I guess they were lucky to have any good episodes exist at all if that was what going on. True, the audience may have been done with the show largely but there could have been better stories, balancing the action, comedy and unique vibe of the beginning, where Batman was funny without being the butt of the joke. Or acting completely stupid. No one knew these episodes would be watched fifty years later, let alone given a lot of thought and attention on a message board, how could they right? But since all the elements were in place, actors, costumes, sets, why not try to deliver the best possible show.

Again, I'm glad some good episodes exist as the show goes on, and that even mediocre ones could still be elevated by the acting of the cast.

cheers

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