Adaptation in the Golden Age

In 1951, George Reeves burst through a wall as Superman in the new television show, The Adventures of Superman. Television was in its infancy (indeed, this period was known as “The Golden Age of Television”) and shows like I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, Dennis the Menace (itself a comic strip adaptation), and Dragnet (which began life on radio) were the big hits of the day.

For all of its wonder as a means of escapist entertainment, television was a merciless killer of media when it first arrived. In its wake fell radio, the serials, B-movies (a genre of film that birthed film noir) and the pulps. It brought families around another new black box and became the community device of its age, bringing serialized ...

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