Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lobo! Lobo! Bring Back (Not Sheriff) Lobo!

I did not realize that Kids' WB very nearly did an animated series based on DC's Lobo character, but according to John McCann, who wrote the pilot and was set to produce, production was already starting on the series before the WB called it off at the last minute. (This would have been a spinoff from the Superman two-parter, with Brad Garrett as the voice of a more Saturday-morning-friendly version of the character.)

Jamie Kellner, head of the WB at the time, had a theory that kids only wanted to watch shows about other kids. Which may actually have been right, considering the kids' shows that were the most popular at the time, but it probably made it really hard to get a show off the ground, or to keep a show going after it started. (Batman Beyond, created in response to Kellner's request for a younger-skewing Batman series, had a very strong first season and looked like it might become a real cultural phenomenon -- there was even talk of a live-action feature version -- but the second season, with a ton of unfocused, kid-oriented episodes and some useless younger-skewing characters added at the behest of the network, kind of stopped that show in its tracks. In my opinion anyway.)

2 comments:

Charlie said...

Steven Gordon has the presentation art that he did for the series on his website.

http://www.stevenegordon.com/presentation_art/lobo.html

It's too bad it never happened. It looks fun. Although, I'm not sure if it's odd or appropriate that a character written for adults, whose appeal was bloody violence and raunchy humor, was almost turned into a kids' cartoon.

It's definitely odd that Lobo of all DC characters would've been the first WB/DC cartoon without Batman or Superman ties. WB's imagination seems limited to Batman, Superman, and Batman and/or Superman team-up cartoons. That's lame considering the hundreds of characters they have in their inventory.

And I think you're spot on about Batman Beyond. After the first season, everything (even the animation, it seemed like) was much brighter and more kid-friendly.

David Gerstein said...

Irony, thy name is WB: of the several shows retooled to become more "kid-friendly" at Kellner's behest, I'm not aware of a single one that rose in the ratings thanks to incorporating his demands. On some level, the man was simply ego with power, a handful of what he thought was conventional wisdom and the clout to make others glumly obey.