Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) move back to Smallville. Photo courtesy of The CW
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch said their new show, Superman & Lois, pays homage to parents now that Superman and Lois have teenage sons of their own.
"This is just a way hopefully to pay tribute to the moms and dads out there who give up so much for their kids," Hoechlin said on a recent Television Critics Association panel.
Lois and Clark Kent, Superman's alter ego, move back to Smallville in Superman & Lois, after losing their jobs at the Metropolis newspaper The Daily Planet. Superman remains available to prevent nuclear reactor meltdowns and other rescue efforts, but the show gives equal focus to the Kent family.
"Superman and Lois Lane could be your next-door neighbors," Tulloch said. "They're dealing with a lot of the same issues that normal people deal with, whether it is lost jobs or having hormonal teenagers who are pushing back against us at every turn."
The 33-year-old Hoechlin considered his own father, an emergency physician, a real-life Superman. Don Hoechlin saved lives and made time for his family, without the benefit of superpowers.
"My dad was a doctor who worked 100-hour weeks, but he was always at our baseball games," Hoechlin said. "He always found a way to be there when we needed him."
Hoechlin said his mother, Lori, raised him with three siblings, and drove him to auditions and extra-curricular activities. He said he never would have become an actor without her sacrifice of time and effort.
"They're never going to get an award for that," Hoechlin said. "To me, that's worth more recognition."
At age 40, Tulloch is a mother to a 2-year-old daughter. She said she could relate to the measured tone Lois takes with sons Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alex Garfin).
"It's not just loving them and being stern, but it's also setting boundaries," Tulloch said. "Kids do need boundaries, and they need structure, but it is treating them with respect."
Hoechlin debuted as Superman in the 2016 Season 2 premiere of Supergirl and recurred in crossover events on The CW's superhero shows. Tulloch joined him as Lois in the 2018 "Elseworlds" crossover.
Lane investigated stories for the Daily Planet in Metropolis in previous Superman shows and movies. Clark also was a reporter, but often ducked out to handle situations as Superman.
"One of the reasons they moved to Smallville is because they realize that they have been possibly prioritizing the wrong things: their careers," Tulloch said. "I think [they are] really putting the boys first, and the family first."
Lois still finds reporting work in Smallville. She sets her sights on a predatory bank that took advantage of Smallville's senior homeowners, signing them up for reverse mortgages.
"A lot of what she is writing about is what capitalism is doing to these small towns all over the States," Tulloch said. "The journalism is an important part of her story. She's fighting against these injustices with words."
Superman still springs into action every week, and the series premiere unveils a formidable new villain. However, Clark and Lois's efforts to balance their responsibilities with their sons reminded him of his own parents.
"I'm grateful that my parents approached raising us that way," Hoechlin said. "[I] hope that that will find its way into how Lois and Clark deal with their kids."
Superman and Lois premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.