OK… I am about to illustrate my profound geekiness (or my wealth of Useless Knowledge, you decide). Way back in the mid to late 1970s, it seemed like at least two of the big three networks (remember those days?) had at least one live-action superhero show on the air. ABC had The Six Million Dollar Man which lead to the Bionic Woman (which jumped ship to NBC for its third and final season… told you I was going to demonstrate my geekiness ;). Over on CBS, you had The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman (which ABC tried for a season by putting the story in the original WWII time frame), and The Amazing Spider-Man.
The Hulk and Wonder Woman are much easier to track down than your friendly neighborhood web-crawler for a number of reasons. Sad to say the budget for the live-action Spider-Man was not over the top. After locating several of the 14 episodes via youtube, the special effects definitely showed the lack of money put to it. The crawling up and down buildings left much to be desired and to save even more money, stock footage from the pilot episode would be used. Funny, but what finally spelled Spidey’s doom was not the cheesy effects but CBS’ self-described fear of becoming THE Superhero Network. The Amazon Princess and the arachnid were given the ax while The Hulk continued on into the early 80s.
HOWEVER, this was not Spider-Man’s first appearance as a live-action hero. Beginning in 1974, he was seen in short live action bits on the children’s series The Electric Company.
Here is a Great pseudo cross-over Spider-Man episode tied with a classic episode with another series:
And here is an Electric Company short. Guess the voice of the narrator:
Ok… enough geekiness for one day. I won’t go further by saying that Nicholas Hammond also played Fredrick (the oldest Von Trapp male child) in The Sound of Music… although I think I just did.