×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Warner Bros. sets licensing for ‘Batman’ show

Rights issues resolved on Fox's campy 1960s series

As a blitz of merchandise hits store shelves for “The Dark Knight Rises,” Warner Bros. is turning to a campier source for a new Caped Crusader product: the 1960s “Batman” TV series.

For the first time in 40 years, Warner Bros. Consumer Products will be able to use the likeness of the show’s stars, including Adam West, Burt Ward, Cesar Romero and Burgess Meredith, on everything from apparel to toys, home goods, publishing and promotions.

WBCP will introduce the new “Batman” product opportunities to potential partners and retailers at next week’s Licensing Expo, running June 12-14 in Las Vegas. First products will launch in the spring.

Retailers had requested a larger merchandise line tied to the show over the years, but studio arm had previously been able to use only the series’ logo, POW!-packed animated opening sequence and the Batmobile for product, not the actors, due to rights issues as the series was produced by 20th Century Fox. As a result, studio was limited to a small line of T-shirts and a die-cast Batmobile made by Mattel.

Studio began negotiating with Fox, West and the estates of the show’s other thesps for the rights to their likenesses in August 2009. Batman is a DC Comics character.

Division is eager to exploit the “Batman” series, which aired on ABC from 1966-68, especially its colorful characters, gadgets like the Bat phone and Bat boat, and kitschy humor, an easier sell for retailers than the darker, more serious and gritty tone of Christopher Nolan’s film trilogy.

Company is talking to department stores about carrying exclusive lines of “Batman” show merchandise, the way Bloomingdale’s turned to its household brands like Marc Jacobs and Psycho Bunny to tap into the 75th anniversary of DC Comics.

“For the first time in over 40 years we will be able to offer fans a full merchandise program that captures the classic, kitschy look and feel of the original ‘Batman’ TV show,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “This new licensing program allows our partners to take advantage of the characters, gadgets and humor that made the show a smash hit in its day and a perennial favorite decades later.”

Warner Bros. also will promote “Man of Steel,” the next two “Hobbit” films, “The Looney Tunes Show,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Scooby-Doo” and “ThunderCats” TV shows at the Licensing Expo.

Related Links:
WB sets licensing pacts for ‘Man of Steel’

More TV

  • BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary with

    BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary With Stephen Fry, Freddie Fox

    A new documentary about Oscar Wilde will tell the celebrated writer’s story with a star cast recreating excerpts from his greatest works, including “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Freddie Fox, Claire Skinner, Anna Chancellor and James Fleet will all perform in the 80-minute show, “The Importance of Being Oscar,” which [...]

  • FOSSE VERDON -- Pictured: (l-r) Michelle

    TV News Roundup: 'Fosse/Verdon' Premiere Date Set at FX

    In today’s TV news roundup, FX announced the premiere date for “Fosse/Verdon,” and Comedy Central released a new trailer for the final season of “Broad City.”  DATES “Workin’ Moms” is set to premiere Feb. 22 on Netflix. The series, which is currently in its third season, first aired in Canada on CBC Television and is [...]

  • Ilana Glazer Abbi Jacobson

    'Broad City' Stars on Discovering New Aspects of Their Characters

    Throughout the run of “Broad City,” creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have been conflicted about how much of their on-screen characters (also named Abbi and Ilana) should come directly from their personalities and lives. But when it came to the final season, Jacobson in particular experienced a life-changing shift that she wanted to impart [...]

  • The Goldbergs spinoff

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilot 'Uninsured' From 'Goldbergs' Producers

    NBC has ordered a pilot for the multi-camera comedy “Uninsured.” In the series, young parents Dave and Rebecca end up having to take care of Dave’s parents who have mishandled their finances and need help to pay down a sizable debt. Dan Levy will serve as writer and executive producer, with Doug Robinson and Alison Greenspan [...]

  • Emily Kapnek

    'Splitting Up Together' Creator Emily Kapnek Inks Overall Deal at ABC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer and producer Emily Kapnek has signed a three-year overall deal at ABC Studios, Variety has learned exclusively. Kapnek most recently developed the ABC single-cam comedy series “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the Danish series “Bedre skilt end aldrig.” She was previously under an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which produces “Splitting Up [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content