Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (titled The New Adventures of Superman when aired in the UK by the BBC, and commonly known simply as "Lois and Clark") is a live-action American television series based on the characters in Superman and Action comics. Lois & Clark starred Dean Cain as Superman/Clark Kent and Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane, and aired on ABC from September 12, 1993 to June 14, 1997.
Developed for television by Deborah Joy LeVine (based upon characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster), the series loosely follows the philosophy of then-Superman writer John Byrne: Clark Kent is the true personality and Superman a disguise. As the show's title suggests, it focuses as much on the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane as the adventures of Clark's alter-ego.
The series spawned several short tie-in books aimed at young adults and a full-length novel for adults, Lois & Clark: A Superman Novel (1996), written by C. J. Cherryh. The show was shot entirely in California.
On May 17, 1966, Jonathan and Martha Kent (Eddie Jones and K Callan) witness the crash-landing of a small spaceship in Shuster's Field outside of Smallville, Kansas. When they investigate, they discover the baby Kal-El, decide to raise him as their own, and name him "Clark Jerome Kent". Throughout the series, Clark proudly states his mother made his Superman costume for him. Clark often consults Jonathan and Martha, either by telephone or in person after impromptu Superman flights to Smallville, about personal and moral concerns and dilemmas.
The series opens twenty-seven years later, on the day Clark moves to Metropolis and interviews for a job at the Daily Planet under editor Perry White (Lane Smith). Clark becomes acquainted with photographer Jimmy Olsen (Michael Landes in Season One, Justin Whalin thereafter) and gossip columnist Cat Grant (Tracy Scoggins). Soon after being hired, Clark is partnered with star reporter Lois Lane. Within minutes of Clark getting a job, he and Lois are given an assignment together. Clark falls in love with Lois at first sight, but she considers him to be little more than a rookie slowing her down. When Superman saves her from a space shuttle disaster, Lois instantly becomes infatuated with Clark's alter-ego.
Superman's first mission interferes with the illegal dealings of Lex Luthor (John Shea), a secretly evil Metropolis business giant and benefactor. After Luthor's plot has been stopped, Clark (as Superman) lets him know he is watching him and will be there to foil his criminal plots, and the two become archenemies. Clark respects Luthor's life, even surreptitiously using his superpowers to save Lex from bleeding to death. Luthor develops an interest in Lois Lane and through most of the first season tries to woo her; although Lois is receptive to his romantic advances, she remains infatuated with Superman.
Lois also has developing feelings for Clark, although most of the time she inhibits or denies them. Luthor eventually proposes marriage to Lois. Clark sees he may lose Lois and knows Luthor is evil but cannot convince Lois. Clark tells Lois that he is in love with her; she replies that she is not in love with him but cares for him deeply as a friend. Lois asks Superman if there is any chance of a romance between the two of them. Superman turns her down and Lois accepts Luthor's proposal. Luthor decides to coincide his nuptials with the death of Superman, who he traps in a kryptonite cage in the wine cellar of Luthor Tower, which also contains the chapel where the wedding will occur. As the wedding approaches, Lois realizes she loves Clark, and she says no to Lex at the altar.
Clark had been working with Perry and Jimmy to expose Lex and they have enough evidence to get the police to interrupt the wedding to arrest Lex. He eludes the police and jumps from his penthouse office to his apparent death. Superman has escaped the cage and, as Clark, rejoins Lois. However, his powers have been diminished by kryptonite and he cannot stop the villain from falling to the pavement. Newspapers report that Lex's body has been stolen from the morgue and hint he may not be dead. Clark, fearing his unrequited love for Lois may damage their relationship, tells her he is not really in love with her and told her so because he would have done anything to protect her from Lex. Lois was about to tell Clark that she loves him too, but she keeps it to herself and their relationship remains a friendship.
In Season Two, Clark and Lois begin to date but are interrupted by Mayson Drake (Farrah Forke), a district attorney who takes a romantic interest in Clark but has a total lack of regard for Superman. Mayson dies as Lois and Clark have their first date. In the next episode, a federal agent named Dan Scardino (Jim Pirri) becomes a rival to Clark for Lois' affections. Lois decides she likes Clark more than she likes Dan, and they begin dating more seriously. In the season finale, Clark comes close to telling Lois his secret, but does not because of his uncertainty about her reaction and interruptions by people plotting to expose his identity to the world. At the end of the episode, Clark proposes to Lois.
In the third season premiere, Lois has discovered Superman's secret identity. Initially she resents Clark not telling her. During their courtship, Lois dates a man who is plotting to kill her in a sacrificial ritual, and she and Clark carry out assignments where they either pose as a married couple or are alone together for an entire weekend.
Lois finally accepts Clark's engagement ring after acquiring his powers and temporarily becoming a superhero named Ultra Woman. Lois suffers a bout of amnesia and hallucinates their wedding. Once she recovers, Lois and Clark are back still engaged when two other Kryptonians come to Earth, one of whom is Clark's wife. They insist Clark go with them to save their world, New Krypton, from domination by an evil tyrant; Clark leaves Lois, taking her wedding ring to remember her and as a promise to return as quickly as possible. While committed to each other, they both doubt he will ever return.
The fourth season starts with Clark heading toward New Krypton, while the evil tyrant has instead invaded Earth, so Clark returns. A villainous conqueror from New Krypton, Lord Nor, takes over Smallville. He and Lois neutralize the tyrant and persuade the New Kryptonians to allow Clark stay on Earth. After another failed wedding ceremony, Lois and Clark get married. Evil forces continues to assault them, delaying their honeymoon, but eventually the couple move into a new home.
Throughout the season they strengthen their bond, despite some disagreements and villains trying to destroy them. The newlywed reporters discover that Clark cannot father a child with Lois, but at the end of the last episode a child mysteriously appears. In an interview, series writer and executive producer Brad Buckner said the planned story was that the child "was Kryptonian royalty, stashed by his mother to keep him safe from assassins."
After Season One, series creator Deborah Joy LeVine left the show as a producer, and a new production team took over the show. Coinciding with this change, episode plots gradually shifted from those in which Lois, Clark, and Superman often only became involved with criminal elements or dangerous situations through their own initiative to more fantastic plots often centered on comic-style villains who specifically targeted Lois, Superman, or Clark from the beginning, rather than endangering the protagonists as a reactionary measure when they became threats to other criminal plans. Whereas many of the stories of season one involved normal human criminals using advanced and powerful technology and/or involved in large and dangerous conspiracies—most, if not all, of the Lex Luthor stories of season one are examples—later plots, especially after season two, much more frequently revolved around villains with special super-human powers and abilities.
Lois & Clark was the second effort to break tradition and mirror John Byrne's retcon of Superman, which included making Clark Kent more assertive and less clumsy. Dean Cain's Clark gradually becomes a well-regarded and highly competent reporter, even beating out Lois for a Kerth award (much to her consternation). A few episodes directly emphasized that Clark was the unequivocal "dominant" personality, not Superman. Following this theme, an innovation unique to the series was the depiction of Clark Kent and Superman's traditional hairstyles being reversed – here it is Superman whose hair is slicked-back, and Clark whose fringe falls more naturally.
An additional element that reflected the post-Byrne comics was the portrayal of Lex Luthor (at least initially) as a corrupt corporate tycoon, rather than the more traditional mad scientist.
In this series, with the exception of Lois, Clark's parents, Wayne Irig, H.G. Wells, and four villains (Mister Mxyzptlk, Diana Stride, Jason Mazik and Tempus), everyone who has found out Superman's true identity has either been killed or had his/her memory erased. A subplot that was never truly resolved before the series ended dealt with the shadowy government agency, Bureau 39, which possessed the spacecraft which brought Superman to Earth as an infant, and may have connections with Intergang.
Lois & Clark: A Superman Novel:
Lois & Clark: A Superman Novel is a novel by science fiction and fantasy author C. J. Cherryh based on the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The work is an example of the Superhero fantasy literary subgenre, and because of the romance between Lois Lane and Clark Kent, could be considered a work of Romantic Fantasy. The book was published in 1996 with a Science Fiction Book Club hardcover edition and a paperback edition by Prima Publishing.