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BACKSTAGE - INTERVIEWS

With the final curtain closing on The Batman, Producer Alan Burnett sits down with The World's Finest for one final interview on The Batman and the Justice League's final battle on Kids WB!.

The World's Finest: The finale of The Batman airs this season. Over the show's five-year run, what do you consider to be both the major pros and cons the series has brought to the table?

Alan Burnett: The big pro is that the series introduced a whole new generation of grade school kids to Batman. This show was primarily for them, and they responded well to it. The series lasted five years, which doesn't often happen in Saturday morning television. And it's important to keep the next generation aware of him if you want to keep Batman going as a pop-culture icon.

The con for older fans is that this animated Batman precluded a more adult animated Batman from being on the air. At least they'll get some of that in "Batman: Gotham Knight," the new DVD coming up.

What I hope is that someday there'll be a place for an R-rated animated Batman. A really gritty, no-holds-barred, sexed-up Batman. Wouldn't that be paradise?

The World's Finest: Looking at the actual finale, "Lost Heroes," do you find it was a good approach to wrap up the series? Any thoughts on what fans can expect and w hat familiar faces we may see?

Alan Burnett: I think it turned out well. There's lots of action, lots of personality, a big threat, and a big resolution. There are eight super heroes in it, including Robin and Batgirl, and they all have their moments, which is no small feat on the part of the writers, Stan Berkowitz and Alexx Van Dyne.

The World's Finest: Each season, The Batman has added a new twist to the series, whether it's bringing in new characters or redesigning others. Not only that, but the show's tone subtlety changed, as well. Is it normal for a show such as this to add new things (characters, etc.) to keep it fresh?

Alan Burnett: The network always wants to change things and add new elements to each new season, even when you'd rather not. You're always worried you're going to jump a shark. But the changes in The Batman were pretty organic. The first season he was a complete loner. By the second season he was accepted by the police. The third season added Batgirl. The fourth, Robin. This season, the JLA. The fourth season was probably the darkest, blessedly so. We thought it was going to be the last season. When the network gave us the go-ahead for a fifth season, they wanted us to get a little more kid-friendly again.

The World's Finest: Looking back on the fifth and finale season in particular, what do you consider to be the high points, and possible low ones too, of the season?

Alan Burnett: I was happy with the season overall. Sure there's stuff I would have done differently - there always is. I still think about jokes I could've put in Ducktales. But we got our audience, and the crew did an exceptional job. The other supervising producer, Michael Gogeun, oversaw the direction and art, and he and his people did phenomenal work. There was less time to produce this season than others, and more characters to create and deal with. Fortunately we also had a wonderful associate producer, Kim Smith, who helped keep everyone on track. This was a bullet train as far as production goes.

The World's Finest: How hard is it to wrap up a series such as this, knowing that plenty more stories could be told?

Alan Burnett: The main thing that disappoints you is that you're not going to be working with the people you enjoyed working with. Sixty-five stories were told for this Batman. Sure, there're other stories you could tell, but 65's a pretty satisfying number.

The World's Finest: Is there anything you didn't get to do on The Batman that you won't be able to? Perhaps plans for future seasons or plot lines left unresolved?

Alan Burnett: Everyone was pretty much aware that this was going to be the last season. So it wasn't as if I was in the mode to develop further ideas for this show. I just wanted to wrap it up on a high point.

The World's Finest: Finally, looking ahead, what's coming up from you that fans should keep an eye out for?

Alan Burnett: DVD stuff I can't talk about. But it's keeping me busy.

[Back to Backstage]


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