Really, why? The way the New 52 are being written they could've killed Tim instead of Damian. (sorry, I like Tim but let's face it...he's not essential to the Bat Family anymore) He's the character who's grown the most and created strong bonds with other characters.
It was pretty stupid to kill him right now.
Plus, the writers said he was "as dead as Bruce's parents and that he may be the first character who remains dead. If that's so, than I'm pissed in double. Everyone gets back to life but him?
Even Jason, it would've made sense if he remained dead. His return pre New 52 was pretty lame. Now I'm ok with the character, but anyway
They're not essential, you'll get the story if you only watch the show, but it gives more information about the characters and their stories. (focus on Beast Boy, Lagoon Boy, Nightwing, Batgirl, Conner and M'gann)