Shazam! (TV series)

Shazam! (TV series)

Infobox Television
show_name = Shazam!

caption = Jackson Bostwick as Captain Marvel, from the television show "Shazam!" produced by Filmation.
show_name_2 = "The Shazam!/Isis Hour"
genre =
creator =
director =
creative_director =
developer =
presenter = Filmation
DC Comics
starring = Michael Gray
Les Tremayne
Jackson Bostwick (Season 1)
John Davey (Season 2)
voices =
narrated =
theme_music_composer =
opentheme =
endtheme =
composer =
country = USA
language = English
num_seasons =
num_episodes =
list_episodes =
executive_producer = Norm Prescott
Lou Scheimer
Dick Rosenbloom
producer =
supervising_producer =
asst_producer =
co-producer =
editor =
story_editor =
location =
camera =
runtime =
network = CBS
picture_format =
audio_format =
first_run =
first_aired = September 7, 1974
last_aired = October 16, 1977
preceded_by =
followed_by =
related = "The Secrets of Isis"
website =
imdb_id = 0071050
tv_com_id = 4993

"Shazam!" was a half-hour live-action television program produced by Filmation (the animation studio's first such program), based upon DC Comics' superhero Captain Marvel.

The show ran from 1974 to 1977 on CBS; from 1975 to 1977 it was known as "The Shazam!/Isis Hour", and included "The Secrets of Isis", about an Ancient Egyptian superheroine resurrected in the body of a schoolteacher, as the second half of the hour. "Shazam!" was brought back for reruns in 1980. Actor Michael Gray starred as young Billy Batson, while Captain Marvel was played first by Jackson Bostwick, and later by John Davey. (Actress Joanna Cameron appeared as Isis, and her alter-ego Andrea Thomas, on three episodes of "Shazam!", and Davey likewise appeared as Captain Marvel in three episodes of "Isis"). Today it is considered to be one of the prime examples of camp.

Differences between the television version and source material

The television version of "Shazam!" was notably different from its source material. The wizard Shazam did not appear in the series; teenage Billy spoke directly to the elders that empowered him (all of whom were animated characters rather than actors): Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. Instead of remaining in his hometown, Billy and his guardian "Mentor" (a doppelganger of sorts for the comics' Uncle Marvel, and played by Les Tremayne) were nomads, traveling around the country in a recreational vehicle. (Media promotion of the time explained that Batson had taken a leave of absence from his radio announcer's job, a circumstance that was also obliquely referenced in bits of dialogue from the series.)

The most fundamental element of the "Shazam!" mythos remained the same: when he spoke the magic word "Shazam!", Billy would be struck by a magic lightning bolt (via animation) and transformed into the World's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel.

"Shazam!" proved to be a popular program of its day, and for a time the comic book was altered to match the format of the series. Michael Gray found himself typecast after the series ended production, and had trouble finding acting work, leaving the profession until the late 1990s.

Current rights ownership

The rights to the series rest with DC's parent company Warner Bros. As of June 2007, the series has not been released on home video in any country, save for one episode that was released on a bonus DVD included with the release of the third season of "Wonder Woman" in 2005 in North America (the episodes of "Secrets of Isis" in which Captain Marvel appeared were released to DVD in North America in 2007, however). A small handful of episodes appeared on "TV Land" infrequently throughout the 2000s, originally appearing on the "Ultimate Fan Hour" and most recently in early 2004 as part of the "TV Land Kitschen" lineup.

Entertainment Rights (who owns much of the Filmation catalog) has the "Worldwide Free TV" rights to the series according to its website (meaning it has the rights to the license the series for broadcast on television). However, it is not clear whether it refers to this series, or the animated "Shazam!" segments from "The Kid Superpower Hour with Shazam!" series from 1981.

Episode guide

External links

* [ Shazam TV Pictures]
* [ Official Jackson Bostwick/SHAZAM! Site]

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