The first DC Comics superhero to appear on television was their flagship character, Superman, in a live action show called The Adventures of Superman in the 50s starring George Reeves.
When Lou Schiemer founded Filmation Animation Studios he sought the rights to the Man of Steel for his first production. Representatives from DC Comics were open to the idea of an animated series for their number one star, but wanted to check out the studio first. The only problem was, there was no studio! Scheimer was hoping that DC would finance the project so that he could hire his staff and buy his supplies, but at the time he only had empty office space!
So Lou called up all his friends and relatives and asked them to stand in as his staff so that the reps from DC would have something to see. The gamble paid off and DC granted Filmation the rights to their character.
The new series was called The New Adventures of Superman and starred Bud Collyer as Superman and Joan Alexander as Lois Lane, both who had previously voiced the duo for the Superman radio program. The show premiered on CBS on September 16, 1966.
Each half-hour episode was made up of two Superman cartoons that featured Clark Kent as he worked at the Daily Planet and saved the world as Superman.
Sandwiched between the two Superman segments was an episode of The Adventures of Superboy which chronicled the early days of Clark Kent as he saved Smallville from bad guys such as Lex Luthor along with his superdog, Krypto.
For the show's second season, it was paired with Aquaman in the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. The third season aired as part of the Batman/Superman Hour.
Superman - Bud Collyer
Lois Lane - Joan Alexander
Superboy - Bob Hastings
Narrator - Jackson Beck