At MCM Comic Con in London, Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy talked about why the beloved Batman: The Animated Series was cancelled.
According to Conroy, it was not due to waning interest from the audience or creators. In fact, it was something more mundane than that. Conroy on the reason:
They didn’t stop making the shows because the audience wasn’t there or the actors weren’t there, they stopped, really, because the creators ran out of ideas for stories. And they didn’t want to compromise on the quality of what they had and start creating kind of silly stories.
The alleged creative rut ultimately made the creators add different elements to shake up the show, like Robin or making Batman Beyond. Conroy on what the show runners did:
So they go, ‘Look, we gotta go in a whole new different direction.’ So then they went to Batman and Robin, they brought in Robin, that was the next series. Then they went into Batman Beyond, you know, recruiting a young guy. And then it was the Justice League. They were always looking at different ways to re-imagine the characters, just so they can get new storylines. A lot of it had to do with trying to come up with stories that weren’t becoming ridiculous.
The Reason for ‘BTAS’ Demise?
While Conroy’s account of BTAS’ cancellation is possible, it does not seem to be the full story. The original run of BTAS was 65 episodes long before they ‘brought in Robin’ and rebranded it as The Adventures of Batman and Robin. According to Conroy’s account, that means that means that the show runners started feeling creative fatigue after only a year of production.
Furthermore, Conroy’s statement implies that the show creators were in a rut and made Batman Beyond because of it. But it is well-known that Beyond was created due to the networks’ mandates to make Batman a teenager.
What is probably the case is that Conroy is probably half-right about the show’s accounts. Conroy was not privy to all of the inner-workings and bureaucracy of the running a show. He probably half-heard some rumors in the production studios.
Regardless, Batman: The Animated Series and all of its DCAU-related shows still stands as a prime example of what a cartoon can be. Conroy can still be heard voicing Batman in Justice League Action.