‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’ existed in a time – the 1990s – where super-heroes weren’t wholly embraced and welcomed on mainstream TV or in blockbuster movies – at least, certainly not to the extent that they are today. As such, shows like ‘Lois & Clark’ had to have a different type of hook; the superhero couldn’t be the primary focus of the show, hence Lois Lane’s name coming first in the series’ title.
Leaning much more heavily on the interpersonal aspects of the characters and significantly less so on the high drama that comes with super-powered action scenes, the show definitely opened Superman and the genre up to a new type of TV-watching fan. After a strong start, however, the show started to falter with its viewership, and after 80-some episodes across four seasons, ABC made the decision to cancel the show.
In a recent interview, Executive Producer Eugenie Ross-Leming and show star Teri Hatcher spoke about the abrupt cancellation, which resulted in the series ending on a cliffhanger-style story that featured Lois and Clark unexpectedly welcoming a child wrapped in a Superman-logo-clad swaddle. The child was not theirs, as it was established earlier in the show’s continuity that Superman’s DNA was incompatible with humans’, but it was left with the couple in a very mysterious fashion.
Ross-Leming explained the series of events:
“We didn’t write it as a series finale, it was just supposed to be a cliffhanger. Looking to create obstacles for them, we ended up saying that carrying a baby to term would kill Lois. But as fate — or intergalactic justice — would have it, a baby of Krypton lineage is left at their doorstep. If the show had gone on, we would have seen them figuring out how to raise this child, who would have aged rapidly. He would have become a teenager in months.”
The child was clearly designed to be of Kryptonian descent, so the very pressing question is, of course: would this have been a super-powered baby? To this question, Ross-Leming answered quite honestly:
“We actually hadn’t figured it out that far.”
‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’ is available on home video.