Warner Bros. Wins Merchandising Rights To 60's Batman TV Series, Will We Finally Get A DVD Release? *Updated*

Batman & Robin

Superhero fans rejoice, because Warner Bros. has now obtained the full merchandising rights to the classic 60's Batman TV series. For those unfamiliar, the show starred Adam West and Burt Ward respectively as Batman and Robin, and aired on ABC from 1966-1968. Despite its short run, the show had a long life in re-runs, and its campy, irreverent take on the caped crusader became iconic.

Unfortunately, the show has never been released to any type of home video format. The reason for this is an almost comedic amount of rights issues between various companies, most prominently between WB and FOX. While the show aired on ABC, FOX was the actual production company and thus owned the show itself, while WB (parent company of DC Comics) owned the characters and universe. Both companies demanded a bigger slice of the pie than the other was comfortable with, and as a result the show has practically vanished. Re-runs no longer air on TV, and the only option for fans are unofficial bootlegs taken from recordings that are several generations old.

While the press release on Warner's legal victory doesn't mention home video products, it does say that they have the full merchandising rights, and one would have to assume that home videos count as a type of merchandise. Obviously, nothing is close to official yet, but you'd think releasing the actual episodes to DVD or Blu-Ray would now be a high priority. Hopefully we hear something soon, as I know a lot of people who would love to own the series.

Do you think we will get a DVD or Blu-Ray release of the classic Batman series? If so, when?

Source: Variety

Update: Thanks to Rtruell for bringing the following information to my attention, as this is the first I've heard of it. The link in question is thus:

Near the bottom, the story does in fact say that a contact inside Warner Bros. has confirmed that (shockingly) the new merchandising agreement does NOT extend to home video. Well that just sucks. I would never have posted this story if I would have known it would be squashed so quickly. Sorry to all the "Bat-fans" (of which I am one) who got excited for a possible DVD. I'm just as bummed as you are. Why allow WB to release action figures, t-shirts and such and not allow them to release the actual show? This is completely ridiculous. Oh well. Sigh.

- Batman

Written by: msd85
Jun 8th, 2012, 9:20 am


Message Posted On Aug 14th, 2012, 12:49 pm
If both Fox and WB would be smart enough to work something out early this year they could've taken advantage of a possible Christmas season release.
Holy Ashtray

Message Posted On Jun 10th, 2012, 1:12 pm
ive got captured avi files from season 1 who were broadcasted on tvland, 34eps

Level 2 (40%)
Points: 4.4
Since: 20/Apr/08
Message Posted On Jun 10th, 2012, 9:31 am

Actually, after years of not being shown, HUB (the Hasbro network) started showing it last year, and as of January 1st, the netlet ME started showing it.  So check your local listings.  I've managed to record nearly all of them in the last year.  Still, I'd buy those discs in a second if they ever work that out.


Level 1 (36%)
Since: 17/Apr/12
Message Posted On Jun 9th, 2012, 1:13 pm

For the record, since I forgot to say so before dumping cold water over everybody here (really, I'm not as much a "party-pooper" as it might seem.  Honestly!!), I too am a "Bat-fan" that has been waiting (not so) patiently for DVD's of the show to come out.  I started getting excited as I read TVShowsOnDVD's story on Thursday...until I came to the update, which bummed me out.


Michael: "I would never have posted this story if I would have known it would be squashed so quickly."


First: Thanks for grabbing that link and posting it.  Second: No, it's good that you posted it, and you should have even if you had known it would be squashed quickly.  I'm sure not everybody here reads 'Variety' or 'TVShowsOnDVD' and thus wouldn't have known that there had been a change in status for "Batman".  For decades, they haven't been able to use the actor's likenesses for merchandising.  Now they can.  True, nothing has changed regarding getting the show itself on DVD, but the fact that this one change has finally happened gives hope to the possibility that the DVD's may happen (relatively) soon as well.  The Variety article was good news for "Bat-fans" everywhere and you were right to let us know about it!



Level 1 (36%)
Since: 17/Apr/12
Message Posted On Jun 8th, 2012, 1:09 pm

For those hoping for a DVD release of the show, I'm afraid I have some bad news.  Unfortunately, I'm a "new user" and can't post a link, so we'll have to do this the hard way.  Go to www dot tvshowsondvd dot com.  Scroll to the bottom of the page.  In the 'Latest News' box on the left, look in the 'Show' column for Batman or the 'Headline' column for Variety Merchandising Story Fuels ... (if it's scrolled off, click on 'more news' in the bottom right-hand corner of that box).  Click on either.  The "bad news" part is in the update at the bottom of that page.


Perhaps someone who is allowed to post links (Michael??) could go to the site, grab the link and post it to make it easier for others.  Sucks that I can't do it :-(


Delete & Edit:  Also sucks that italics don't seem to be working properly...they work fine when typing the comment, but not once it's been posted.  Oh, well.  Live and learn.  Thankfully it's Friday and not Monday :-)



Level 2 (59%)
Points: 0.2
Since: 08/Dec/08
Message Posted On Jun 8th, 2012, 11:53 am

Let's hope WB get their act in gear. This would make an excellent DVD/BR release for this year's holiday season. 


Level 4 (61%)
Points: 0.4
Since: 12/Jul/10
Message Posted On Jun 8th, 2012, 11:31 am

i clearly remember spending countless hours in front of the tv watching this show when i was a kid, with all the ¨pows¨ ¨oughs¨ and so on... i would give an arm and a leg to have this series on dvd or br!!!


Level 4 (61%)
Points: 0.4
Since: 12/Jul/10
Message Posted On Jun 8th, 2012, 11:26 am

i realy realy realy!!!! do hope so!!!!!all time classick!!

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