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|Opening theme||"Save Me" by Remy Zero|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||10|
|No. of episodes||218 (List of episodes)|
|Location(s)||British Columbia, Canada|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Tollin/Robbins Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Millar Gough Ink
|Original run||October 16, 2001 – May 13, 2011|
Smallville is an American television series developed by writers/producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. It is based on the DC Comics character Superman, originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The television series was initially broadcast by The WB Television Network (The WB), premiering on October 16, 2001. After Smallville's fifth season, The WB and UPN merged to form The CW Television Network, which became the broadcaster for the show in the United States. It ended its tenth and final season on May 13, 2011. The series follows the adventures of Clark Kent (Tom Welling), who resides in the fictional town of Smallville, Kansas, during the years before he becomes Superman. The first four seasons focus on Clark and his friends' high school years. After season five, the show ventured into more adult settings, eventually focusing on his career at the Daily Planet, as well as introducing other DC comic book superheroes and villains.
The concept for Smallville was created after a potential series chronicling a young Bruce Wayne's journey toward becoming Batman failed to generate interest. After meeting with the president of Warner Bros. Television, series developers Gough and Millar pitched their "no tights, no flights" rule, which would break Superman down to the bare essentials and look at the events leading up to Clark Kent becoming Superman. After seven seasons with the show, Gough and Millar departed without providing a specific reason. Smallville was predominantly filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, with some of the local businesses and buildings substituting for Smallville locations. The music for the first six seasons was primarily composed by Mark Snow, who incorporated elements of John Williams's musical score from the original Superman film series. In season seven, Louis Febre, who had worked with Snow from the beginning, took over as primary composer.
The series was generally positively received when it began broadcasting. Former Superman star Christopher Reeve voiced his approval of the series and even made two guest appearances. The pilot episode broke the record for highest-rated debut for The WB, with 8.4 million viewers. Over ten seasons, it averaged approximately 4.34 million viewers per episode, with season two averaging the highest ratings, at 6.3 million. By the end of its run, Smallville had surpassed Stargate SG-1 to become the longest-running North American science fiction series, as well as the longest running comic book-based series in television history. The series has earned distinctions ranging from Emmy Awards to Teen Choice Awards since its first season. The show has spawned a series of young-adult novels, a DC Comics bi-monthly comic book and soundtrack releases, as well as Smallville-related merchandise. All ten seasons of Smallville are available on DVD in regions 1, 2 and 4. In April 2012, the series was continued in comic book form, with the storyline picking up shortly after the end of the series finale.
Series overview 
The regular cast is introduced in season one. Storylines regularly included a villain deriving a power from kryptonite exposure. The one-episode villains were a plot device developed by Gough and Millar. The first season primarily dealt with Clark trying to come to terms with his alien origins, and the revelation that his arrival on Earth was connected to the deaths of Lana Lang's parents. After the first season, the series used fewer villain-of-the-week episodes, focusing more on story arcs which affected each character and explored Clark's origins. Main story arcs include Clark's discovery of his Kryptonian heritage. The disembodied voice of Clark's biological father, Jor-El, is introduced. He communicates to Clark via his spaceship, setting the stage for plots involving the fulfillment of Clark's earthly destiny. In another arc which comprises the fourth season, Clark seeks three Kryptonian stones, at the instruction of Jor-El, which contain the knowledge of the universe and form his Fortress of Solitude. Clark also battles Brainiac in his attempts to release the Kryptonian criminal General Zod. Clark must either capture or destroy other escaped Phantom Zone criminals. Clark's biological cousin Kara arrives, and Lex Luthor finally discovers Clark's secret. The eighth season features storylines involving the introduction of Davis Bloome, who is Smallville's interpretation of Doomsday, and a woman named Tess Mercer replaces Lex Luthor, who exits the series. Justin Hartley joins as a series regular in the role of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, having been a recurring guest in season six. With the ninth season, Major Zod (Callum Blue), along with other members of Zod's military group, are revived by Tess Mercer, though without their Kryptonian powers. Their efforts to obtain those powers become the central conflict for the season's story arc. The tenth and final season revolves around Clark's attempts to get rid of his doubts and fears in order to become the hero he is meant to be, while also confronting his biggest challenges—the coming of Darkseid and the return of Lex Luthor.
- Tom Welling portrays Clark Kent, a young man with superhuman abilities, who tries to find his place in life after discovering he is an alien. He uses his abilities to help others in danger. Clark's problems in season one include not being able to share his secret with anyone and his desire for a normal life. After months of scouting, Welling was cast as Clark. David Nutter had to convince Welling's manager that the role would not hurt Welling's film career in order to get Welling to read the pilot script. After reading the script, Welling was convinced to audition.
- Kristin Kreuk portrays Lana Lang, the girl next door. She has a "hole in her heart" because of the loss of her parents, and feels empathy for everyone. She feels connected to Clark. Kreuk was the first to be cast after Nutter saw an audition tape the actress had sent. Kreuk left the series after the seventh season, but returned for five episodes in season eight as a guest star.
- Michael Rosenbaum portrays Lex Luthor, a billionaire's son sent to Smallville to run the local fertilizer plant. After Clark saves his life, the two quickly become friends. As the series progresses, his friendship with Clark crumbles until the pair consider themselves enemies. The role was hard to cast, as no one could agree on who they liked for the role. Michael Rosenbaum twice auditioned for the role of Lex Luthor. Feeling he did not take his first audition seriously, Rosenbaum outlined a two-and-a-half-page scene, indicating all the places to be funny, charismatic, or menacing. His audition went so well that everyone agreed he was "the guy". Rosenbaum left the show after seven seasons, but reprised his role for the series finale.
- Allison Mack portrays Chloe Sullivan, one of Clark's best friends. She is in love with Clark, although the feeling is not reciprocated. Editor of the school newspaper, her journalistic curiosity, always wanting to "expose falsehoods" and "know the truth", causes tension with her friends, especially when she investigates Clark's past. After learning about Smallville from Dee Dee Bradley, the show's casting director, Mack thought about auditioning for the role of Lana Lang. Mack instead auditioned twice for the role of Chloe Sullivan. The character was created just for the series, and was intended to have an "ethnic background" before Mack was hired. She has since appeared in the comic book.
- Sam Jones III portrays Pete Ross, another of Clark's best friends. He is the first person Clark voluntarily informs of his secret. He is in love with Chloe, which he keeps to himself because of the Clark-Lana-Chloe love triangle already taking place. Ross was written out of the series at the end of season three, but made a guest appearance in season seven. Jones was the last of the series regulars to be cast. Gough and Millar saw Jones four days before they began filming the pilot. In the comics, Ross is Caucasian, but the producers chose to cast Jones, who is African-American, against the mythology.
- Annette O'Toole portrays Martha Kent, Clark's adoptive mother. She, along with her husband Jonathan, give Clark sage advice about how to cope with his growing abilities. In season five, she takes a state senate seat. In season six the character exits from the show. Cynthia Ettinger was originally cast as Martha Kent, but during filming everyone, including Ettinger, realized she was not right for the role. O'Toole was committed to the television series The Huntress when Ettinger was filming the original pilot. Around the time the creators were looking to recast the role of Martha Kent, The Huntress was canceled, allowing O'Toole to join the cast of Smallville. O'Toole had previously portrayed Lana Lang in Superman III.
- John Schneider portrays Jonathan Kent, Clark's adoptive father. He goes to great lengths to protect his son's secret. According to Schneider, Jonathan is "perfectly willing to go to jail, or worse, to protect his son." Schneider was written out of the show on the series' 100th episode, with Jonathan dying of a heart attack the night of his election victory. Millar and Gough wanted a recognizable face for Smallville. They loved the idea of casting Schneider as Jonathan, because he was already known as Bo Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard, which Gough saw as adding to the belief that Schneider could have grown up running a farm.
- Eric Johnson portrays Whitney Fordman, Lana's boyfriend in season one, who becomes jealous of Clark and Lana's budding friendship, going so far as to haze Clark. He eventually reconciles with Clark, before joining the Marines and going off to Afghanistan. Whitney was written out of the show in the first season's finale, but he made cameo appearances in the season two episode "Visage", where it is revealed he was killed in action, and the season four episode "Façade", during a flashback to Clark's freshman year. Johnson has expressed his pleasure in the way the writers handled Whitney's departure, by giving the character the exit of a hero. Johnson auditioned for the roles of Lex and Clark, before finally being cast as Whitney.
- John Glover portrays Lionel Luthor, Lex's father. Lionel is responsible for the Kents being able to adopt Clark without any legal ramifications or questions about his origins. Glover tried to make Lionel appear as though he was trying to "toughen [Lex] up". Glover saw the character as a rich and powerful businessman who was disappointed in his son and attempts to make Lex tougher. Lionel was created specifically for the show to provide a parallel to the Kents, and to portray an "experiment in extreme parenting." After being a recurring guest during the show's first season, Glover became a series regular from seasons two to seven until Lionel was murdered by Lex towards the end of the seventh season, but returns as a parallel universe version of the character in the tenth and final season.
- Jensen Ackles portrays Jason Teague, a love interest for Lana, in season four. He follows Lana to Smallville, from Paris, France, and takes a position as the school's assistant football coach. He was fired from the school when his relationship with Lana came to light. By the end of the season, it is revealed he had been working with his mother to track the three Kryptonian stones of knowledge. Prior to his role as Jason, Ackles was considered second-in-line for the role of Clark Kent. Ackles received top billing for season four and was contracted to remain through season five, but was written out of the show in season four's finale due to his commitments to Supernatural.
- Erica Durance portrays Lois Lane, Chloe's cousin. She comes to Smallville investigating the supposed death of Chloe. She stays with the Kents while in town. Durance was a recurring guest for season four, but afterward became a series regular. The producers were always looking to bring Lois Lane to the series, and the supposed death of Chloe in the season three finale seemed like the right time to bring her to the show. Durance was cast just three days before filming began, and initially was only able to appear in four episodes based on a stipulation from the film division of Warner Bros. After discussion, the character was cleared for more episodes.
- Aaron Ashmore portrays Jimmy Olsen, Chloe's photographer boyfriend; he also works at the Daily Planet. Ashmore was a recurring guest for season six but became a regular cast member in season seven. Ashmore indicates his casting was a welcomed surprise. The actor states, "I auditioned for [the role] and I put myself on tape. I hadn't heard anything, and a couple of weeks later, all of the sudden (sic), I got the call saying, 'You're going to Vancouver to start shooting Smallville.' It's a dream come true, really." After three seasons on the show, two as a series regular, Ashmore's character was killed off. Although "Jimmy Olsen" was murdered, Ashmore stated that his Jimmy was not the "real" Jimmy Olsen and that the character's younger brother, who appears briefly in the season eight finale, is intended to be the Jimmy who works alongside Clark and Lois. Ashmore returns to play the real, younger Jimmy, in the show's final episode.
- Laura Vandervoort portrays Kara, Clark's Kryptonian cousin. She was sent to look after Kal-El (Clark), but was stuck in suspended animation for eighteen years. When the dam confining her ship broke in the season six finale, "Phantom", she was set free. She has all of Clark's abilities, including the ability to fly. At the end of the seventh season, Kara was shown trapped in the Phantom Zone. Vandervoort was not brought back as a series regular for the eighth season, but she did a guest appearance to wrap up her storyline in season eight's "Bloodline" and later in season ten's "Supergirl" and "Prophecy".
- Justin Hartley portrays Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, the CEO of Queen Industries and leader of a small group of superheroes. Hartley was a recurring guest in the sixth and seventh seasons and became a series regular in season eight. Hartley was the producers' first choice to play Oliver Queen. He was designed to shake up the lives of both Clark and Lois in season six, as well as provide Clark with an alternate view of how to fight crime.
- Samuel Witwer portrays Davis Bloome in season eight. He is a "charismatic" paramedic struggling with a darkness inside of him. Davis Bloome is Smallville's interpretation of Doomsday, the only character to have succeeded at killing Superman. Witwer explained that Davis would come to resemble his comic book counterpart over the course of the season. Brian Peterson explained that, with Michael Rosenbaum's departure, the new executive producers were looking for a villainous character that was "as great as Lex", and Doomsday fit what they were looking for.
- Cassidy Freeman portrays Tess Mercer, Lex's handpicked successor to being CEO of LuthorCorp in season eight. The name "Tess Mercer" is a homage to two characters from Superman lore, Eve Teschmacher and Mercy Graves. As Freeman describes her character, Mercer is Lex's handpicked successor; she is "fierce", "fun", and "intelligent". Mercer's primary goal for season eight was finding Lex. Her attention is drawn to Clark, whom she believes will be able to help her. In the season ten episode "Abandoned", it is revealed that her birth name is Lutessa Lena Luthor, and that she is the illegitimate daughter of Lionel.
- Callum Blue portrays Zod, an early version of the criminal from Krypton who was expelled to the Phantom Zone prison. His character is first mentioned in season five, when Brainiac uses Lex's body as a physical vessel for Zod's spirit to inhabit. Later, he appears from within a Kryptonian orb in the season eight finale. The executive producers classify this incarnation as "Major Zod", as opposed to his typical "General Zod" identifier, and reveal throughout season nine "the venomous side of Zod rises because he experiences a few key betrayals with our beloved characters".
Originally, Tollin/Robbins Productions wanted to do a series about a young Bruce Wayne. The feature film division of Warner Bros. had decided to develop an origin movie for Batman, and because they did not want to compete with a television series, the series idea was nixed. In 2000 Tollin/Robbins approached Peter Roth, the President of Warner Bros. Television, about developing a series based on a young Superman. That same year, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar developed a pilot based on the film Eraser. After watching the pilot, Roth approached the two men about developing a second pilot based on the young Superman concept. After meeting with Roth, Gough and Millar decided they did not want to do a series where there was lots of flying or a cape. It was here Gough and Millar developed their "no tights, no flights" rule, vowing Clark would not, at any point, fly nor don the Superman suit during the run of the show.
Gough and Millar wanted to strip Superman down to his "bare essence", and explore the reasons that Clark Kent became Superman. They felt that because they were not comic book fans or familiar with the universe, they would have an unbiased approach to the series. However, this did not keep them from learning about the characters; they both did research on the comics and picked and rearranged what they liked. They returned and pitched their idea to both The WB and Fox on the same day. A bidding war ensued between Fox and The WB, and the latter won out, with a commitment for thirteen episodes to start.
Roth, Gough, and Millar knew the show was going to be action-oriented, but they wanted to be able to reach the "middle America iconography" 7th Heaven had reached. To help create this atmosphere, the team decided the meteor shower bringing Clark to Earth would be the foundation for the franchise of the show. Not only does it act as the primary source behind the creation of the super-powered beings Clark must fight, but it acts as a sense of irony in his life. The meteor shower would give him a life on Earth, but it would also take away the parents of the girl he loves, and start Lex Luthor down a dark path, thanks to the loss of his hair during the shower. Roth loved the conflict that was created for Clark, in forcing him to deal with the fact his arrival caused so much pain.
Another problem the creators had to grapple with was the question of why Lex Luthor would be socializing with teenagers. To address this, they decided to create a sense of loneliness in the character, which they felt would require him to reach out to the teens. The loneliness was echoed in Clark and Lana as well. Gough and Millar wanted to provide a parallel to the Kents, so they created Lionel Luthor, Lex's father, which they saw as the "experiment in extreme parenting." They wanted a younger Kent couple, because they felt they needed to be able to be involved in Clark's life and help him through his journey. Chloe Sullivan, another character created just for the show, was meant to be the "outsider" the show needed. Gough and Millar felt the character was necessary so that someone would notice the strange happenings in Smallville. She was not meant to act as a "precursor to Lois Lane".
The concept of Smallville has been described by Warner Bros. as a reinterpretation of the Superman mythology from its roots. Since the November 2004 reacquisition of Superboy by the Siegel family, there has arisen contention regarding a possible copyright infringement. The dispute is over ownership of the fictional town of Smallville, title setting of the show, and a claimed similarity between Superboy's title character and Smallville's Clark Kent. The heirs of Jerry Siegel claim "Smallville is part of the Superboy copyright," of which the Siegels own the rights.
Crew changes 
On April 3, 2008, after seven seasons with the show, Gough and Millar announced they would be leaving Smallville. The developers, after thanking the cast and crew for all their hard work, acknowledged they never stopped fighting for what they saw as "their vision" of the show. A specific reason for their departure was not given. Gough and Millar were replaced as showrunners by Todd Slavkin, Darren Swimmer, Kelly Souders, and Brian Peterson. All four had joined the crew at the start of the second season as writers and worked their way up to executive producers by the seventh season. On February 6, 2009, after one season, the L.A. Times confirmed executive producers Swimmer and Slavkin would not be returning for the ninth season of Smallville; instead, the pair would take over The CW's new series Melrose Place. The Times also reported Souders and Peterson would continue on as showrunners when Smallville starts its ninth season. On July 24, 2009, it was announced Tom Welling had become a co-executive producer of the series. On March 26, 2010, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Millar and Gough, alongside co-producer Tollin/Robins Production, had filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and The CW. The lawsuit contests that Hollywood's "vertical integration" cost the pair millions of dollars. The suit claims that Warner Bros. failed to "maximize profits" while marketing Smallville, misrepresented production costs, and sold the show in foreign markets at "well below the value of the series". At this time, the lawsuit does not specify how much the plaintiffs are looking for in compensation. In a press release by The CW on May 20, 2010, Tom Welling was named a full executive producer for the tenth and final season of the series.
The show was produced at BB Studios in Burnaby, British Columbia. Initially, production was going to be in Australia, but Vancouver had more of a "Middle America landscape". The city provided a site for the Kent farm, as well as doubling for Metropolis. It also provided a cheaper shooting location, and was in the same time zone as Los Angeles. Smallville's "Main street" is a combination of two locations. Portions were shot in the town of Merritt, and the rest was shot in Cloverdale. Cloverdale is particularly proud of being a filming site for the show. At its entrance is a sign which reads "Home of Smallville."
Vancouver Technical School doubled as the exterior for Smallville High, as the film makers believed Van Tech had the "mid-American largess" they wanted. This was in keeping with Millar's idea that Smallville should be the epitome of "Smalltown, USA". The interiors of Templeton Secondary School were used for Smallville High's interior. Over the course of season one, the production team repainted most of Templeton in Smallville High’s red and yellow colors, and stuck large Smallville High Crows logos everywhere. The team painted over so much of the school that the school eventually adopted red and yellow as their official school colors. The students became so accustomed to the filming crew, which had to shoot during the school semester, that when class was released the filmmakers would stand aside and the students would casually move the filming equipment aside to get to their lockers, and then venture to their next class without paying the crew much attention.
The Kent farm is a real farm located in Aldergrove. Owned by The Anderlinis, the production crew had to paint their home yellow for the show. Exterior shots of Luthor Mansion were filmed at Hatley Castle in Victoria. The interior shots were done at Shannon Mews, in Vancouver, which was also the set for the Dark Angel pilot and Along Came a Spider. Movie house Clova Cinema, in Cloverdale, is used for exterior shots of The Talon, the show's coffee house.
The show is told from Clark's point of view, so the color scheme and camera selection is an illustration of Clark's interpretation of his environment. When he is safe at home the colors used to illustrate the environment are "warm and gentle", with an earth tone; the camera movement is also "very gentle". When Clark is keeping his secret and he is not in danger, the lighting is more neutral and the camera moves around more. When there is danger the lighting becomes colder, and the camera shifts to a handheld to allow for more "extreme angles". With Metropolis, the crew attempts to instill the image of a "clean, hard-lined architecture", with blues, purples, and reflective metallics used as the dominant color scheme. The same concept is used for the characters. Lex is usually given a "glass, steel background", while Lionel receives a white or "clinical blue" background. Lex typically wears a lot of black, grey, and "cool tones" like purples and blues. Clark is represented by red, yellow, and blue, like the traditional Superman costume. He is also represented by the colors of the "All American": red, white, and blue.
Composer Mark Snow worked in tandem with producer Ken Horton to create the underscore for the show. Snow created his music on the spot, as he watched the picture, and then tweaked his performance upon reviewing the recordings from his initial play. He then sent the music to the producers, who decided if they liked it or not; if not, then they sent it back and he recomposed. Individual episodes also feature their own soundtrack, comprising one or more songs by musical bands. Jennifer Pyken and Madonna Wade-Reed of Daisy Music worked on finding these songs for the show's soundtrack. Pyken and Wade-Reed's choices were then discussed by the producers, who decided which songs they wanted and secured the licensing rights to the songs. Although Snow admits it initially seemed odd to combine the two musical sounds on a "typical action-adventure" television show, he admits "the producers seem to like the contrast of the modern songs and the traditional, orchestral approach to the score".
The main theme to Smallville is not composed by Snow, though he has composed opening themes, such as the one for The X-Files. The opening theme is the single "Save Me" by Remy Zero. Snow composed the closing credits, which was composed to represent the theme of the show. In the first two seasons, the music playing during the closing credits was one of the potential theme songs for the series, before Remy Zero’s "Save Me" was selected. The melody was more "heroic" and "in-your-face". Mark Snow was told during season two the closing credits needed new music, as the show had evolved, and the existing music was no longer suitable. Snow created a new, toned-down score that featured a more "melodic" tune. Snow has also reworked music from the previous Superman films. John Williams' musical score for the Krypton sequence in the opening credits of Superman was used in season two's "Rosetta"—which featured a guest appearance by Christopher Reeve—as well as various times in the season two finale. To save money, Snow recorded his own version of Williams' score, as using the original version would have required the team to pay Williams' orchestra as well.
In a May 23, 2008, interview with Randall Larson, Snow revealed he would not be returning, citing the workload of Smallville and Ghost Whisperer as being too much for him. Snow did state he would be returning for Ghost Whisperer. While reminiscing about his work on the show, Snow indicated much of the music had not really changed throughout the series, agreeing with Larson's description it was "more [about] maintaining the heroic concept and the mythology than progressing through specific changes". Louis Febre, who worked closely with Snow from the beginning, became the sole composer for Smallville beginning with season seven. Febre commented that since he began composing for Smallville there was a shift to "thematic development" of the score, which would parallel the growth of the characters. Febre stated, "As Clark grew emotionally and intellectually more complex, I found a need to comment musically on his growth, and as he drew closer to his Superman persona, it became obvious that a 'Superman' theme would be required."
At various times the creative team had the chance to try different musical tones to enhance the storyline of an episode. Jennifer Pyken and Madonna Wade-Reed chose and coordinated the commercial music used on the show, for use when Snow's and Febre's scores were not used. In season three's "Slumber", producer Ken Horton wondered if they could get a single band to provide all the music for the entire episode. During a breakfast meeting with the music department at Warner Bros., the topic of the band R.E.M. came up, and Pyken and Wade-Reed immediately saw an opportunity to connect the episode’s featured band with an episode’s story, which happened to revolve around REM sleep. During the same season, Al Gough wanted to use Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt" for the final scene of "Shattered", where Lionel Luthor stares at Lex through a one-way mirror at Belle Reve sanitarium, from the moment he first read the script for the episode. Cash died while Wade-Reed was trying to get the song cleared for use. Believing the use of the song for the show would honor his memory, Cash’s heirs cleared the rights for Smallville.
For season three's "Resurrection" and "Memoria", songs were particularly chosen to provide symbolism for the characters. In "Resurrection", The Rapture's "Infatuation" was used during a scene involving Lex and Lana. The point of the song was to symbolize the question, "Are we ever going to figure out what these two people think of each other?" For "Memoria", Gough came up with the idea of using Evanescence's "My Immortal" for the final scene of the episode. Gough informed Wade-Reed as soon as he began working on the script what song he wanted to use for the closing scene, as he saw the song as being symbolically about mothers, and in that scene Clark is telling Martha his first memory as a child was of his biological mother, Lara.
Season three's "Velocity" provided the music editors with the opportunity to use hip-hop, a style of music rarely used on the show. The episode was similar to The Fast and the Furious, and primarily focused on the only black character on the show, Pete. Wade-Reed used a more hip-hop sound, which worked well with the story. Wade-Reed had heard of a British hip-hop artist named Dizzee Rascal, and became the first person in the United States to secure the licensing rights to use Rascal’s album. Greg Beeman is known for directing episodes, and sometimes specific scenes, with particular songs in mind. For "Vortex" in season two, he used Coldplay's "In My Place" for the final scene. In the season two finale, "Exodus", Beeman directed the scene where Lana shows up at the Kent barn, just before Lex' wedding, to Matthew Good’s "Weapon". The lyrics speak of an angel and the Devil "by my side", and Beeman timed specific shots with specific moments in the lyrics.
Smallville first premiered at 9:00 pm on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 on The WB. For the next five seasons the series was featured on The WB, and was moved from Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm to Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm, and eventually was changed to Thursday nights at 8:00 pm. In 2006, before the start of Smallville's sixth season, it was announced The WB and UPN would be merging into a single entity, The CW. Shortly after that, The CW announced Smallville would continue to be part of the television lineup. On May 21, 2009, it was announced Smallville would be returning to the 2009–2010 fall line-up for its ninth season, airing on Friday nights at 8:00 pm. On March 4, 2010, the CW announced Smallville had been renewed for a tenth season. Smallville also aired in Canada, and during its seventh season the series aired one day earlier than in the United States. Additionally, the series aired in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. By the end of its tenth season, Smallville became the longest-running science fiction television show in the United States, breaking the record held by Stargate SG-1. On August 10, 2011, it was announced that TNT will begin airing the series in syndication on October 3, 2011.
Smallville broke the record for highest rated debut for The WB, with 8.4 million viewers tuning in for its pilot. The premiere also broke The WB record for adults age 18–34, and finished first with viewers age 12–34, leading Warner Bros. President of Entertainment Jordan Levin to credit the series with invigorating the network's Tuesday night lineup. The series was featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly as one of five new shows to watch. After its first season, Smallville placed sixth on the Parents Television Council's list of the "best shows for families". The WB's CEO Jordan Levin recognized early concerns that the show had become a villain of the week series, and announced season two would introduce "smaller mini-arcs over three to four episodes", to move away from the series becoming a "serialized show". Gough realized that although each succeeding season relied more on seasonal story arcs, there were occasions where they had to do villain of the week stories. It was clear the villain of the week stories were generally more criticized by fans of the Superman mythology. However, Gough wanted to be able to please both Superman fans and The WB's general audience, which consisted of teenagers who prefer the villain of the week stories over the episodes focusing more heavily on the Superman mythology.
"I was a little bit skeptical when I heard about [Smallville] at first, but I must say the writing, the acting, and the special effects are quite remarkable. In 1977, a big stunt scene would have taken us a week to film—it's pretty impressive what they are able to do with computers and effects technology today on a weekly TV show. It gives it a lot more production value and inventiveness than I thought I was going to see when I first heard about the series. I think the show is doing a really good job following the mythology, and Tom is doing a good job following the tradition."
MTV's Karl Heitmueller believed that Smallville's Clark Kent was a better representation of the original material, staying "true to the heart of the story" by showing Clark's selflessness and his struggle between his desires and obligations. At the same time, Heitmueller felt the show would have a difficult time addressing why no one in Smallville recognized Clark when he puts on the suit, especially Lex Luthor. TV Guide's Michael Schneider classified it as one of the best examples of a superhero being adapted for television. However, Christopher Hooton of Metro suggested Smallville was not a story that needed to be told, saying, "No-one bothered to follow Bruce Wayne’s tedious years spent manufacturing microchips before he became Batman, so why must we endure a decade of flannel shirt-wearing Clark Kent bucking hay?"
Nielsen rankings 
The following is a table for the seasonal rankings, based on average total estimated viewers per episode, of Smallville on The WB and The CW. "Rank" refers to how Smallville rated compared to the other television series which aired during primetime hours.
|Season 1||Tuesday 9/8C||The WB||October 16, 2001||8.40||May 21, 2002||N/A||#115||5.90|
|Season 2||September 24, 2002||8.70||May 20, 2003||N/A||#113||6.30|
|Season 3||Wednesday 8/7C||October 1, 2003||N/A||May 19, 2004||5.92||#141||4.96|
|Season 4||September 22, 2004||6.07||May 18, 2005||5.47||#124||4.40|
|Season 5||Thursday 8/7C||September 29, 2005||5.90||May 11, 2006||4.85||#117||4.70|
|Season 6||The CW||September 28, 2006||4.96||May 17, 2007||4.14||#125||4.10|
|Season 7||September 27, 2007||5.18||May 15, 2008||3.85||#175||3.77|
|Season 8||September 18, 2008||4.34||May 14, 2009||3.13||#152||3.74|
|Season 9||Friday 8/7C||September 25, 2009||2.58||May 14, 2010||2.45||#129||2.38|
|Season 10||September 24, 2010||2.98||May 13, 2011||3.02||#131||3.19|
Throughout its ten seasons, Smallville won numerous awards, ranging from Emmys to Teen Choice Awards. In 2002, the show won an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series for the pilot episode. Four years later, the series was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Editing for a Series for its fifth season episode "Arrival". In 2008 Smallville again won the Outstanding Sound Editing Emmy for season seven's "Bizarro".
Smallville has been awarded Leo Awards on multiple occasions. Make-up artist Natalie Cosco was awarded the Leo Award for Best Make-Up twice, once for her work in the fourth season episode "Scare", and again for her work in the sixth season episodes "Hydro" and "Wither". In the 2006, Leo Awards, Barry Donlevy took home Best Cinematography in a Dramatic Series for his work on the fourth season episode "Spirit", while David Wilson won Best Production Design in a Dramatic Series for "Sacred". Smallville's sixth season won a Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series. James Marshall won Best Direction for "Zod", Caronline Cranstoun won Best Costume Design for her work on "Arrow", and James Philpott won Best Production Design for "Justice". In 2008, Smallville won the Leo Awards for Best Dramatic Series and Best Cinematography. The visual effects team was recognized for their work on the pilot with an award for Best Visual Effects in 2002. They were later recognized by the Visual Effects Society with a 2004 VES Award for Outstanding Compositing in a Televised Program, Music Video or Commercial, for the work they did on the second season episode "Accelerate". That same year, they won for Outstanding Matte Painting in a Televised Program, Music Video, or Commercial for season two’s "Insurgence".
In 2002, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers honored composer Mark Snow and the band Remy Zero, who provide the opening theme song "Save Me", for their contributions to the show. The award is given to individuals who wrote the theme or underscore for the highest rated television series during January 1 – December 31, 2001 for their network. The American Society of Cinematographers gave David Moxness an award for the work done on the sixth season episode "Arrow", and the following year they awarded Glen Winter the same award for his work on "Noir". Members of the regular cast have won awards for their portrayals on the show. In 2001 Michael Rosenbaum won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. Tom Welling won a Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout TV Star — Male in 2002, while Allison Mack was awarded Best Sidekick in 2006. Mack won Best Sidekick for the second year in a row when she received the award in the 2007 Teen Choice Awards. At the 2009 Teen Choice Awards, Tom Welling received the award for Choice TV Actor Action Adventure.
Other media 
Smallville has spawned a multitude of additional media and spin-offs, from young adult novels and comic books to internet based mini-episodes featuring characters from the television series. Smallville was also the influence for the British television series Merlin.
There have been two series of novels published since the second season of the show began airing. A series of eight young adult novels was published by Aspect Publishing between October 2002 and March 2004. A second series of ten young adult novels was published by Little, Brown Young Readers between October 2002 and April 2004. In addition, a bi-monthly comic book series was published, which often tied directly into the events of the television show.
Young adult novels 
Three novels were released on October 1, 2002, one from Aspect and two from Little, Brown Young Readers. Aspect’s novel, Smallville: Strange Visitors, was written by Roger Stern and featured Clark and his friends trying to uncover the truth about two religious con men who have set up shop in Smallville, and are using kryptonite in their spiritual seminars to rob the townspeople. Little, Brown Young Readers first published Arrival, which chronicles the events of the show’s pilot as written by author Michael Teitelbaum. The second book, See No Evil, was written by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld, who have also written various episodes of the show. See No Evil follows Dawn Mills, a young actress who wants to attend Juilliard. Dawn has the ability to become invisible, and after witnessing everyone talk negatively behind her back she decides to get revenge. When Clark discovers what Dawn has been doing he puts a stop to it. See No Evil was one of the original storylines outlined for the season one episode "Shimmer".
On November 1, 2002, Aspect released Alan Grant’s Smallville: Dragon, a story about an ex-convict who takes on the abilities and appearance of a dragon after being exposed to kryptonite in a cave. The mutation causes him to try to kill all those who testified against him. The novel features Clark being hypnotized into believing he is a normal, human teenager, with no abilities. One month after Grant’s novel, Bennett and Gottesfeld returned for a second time to write Little, Brown Young Readers’ Flight, a story about a young girl, Tia, whom Clark discovers has full-sized wings. Clark and his friends believe Tia is being abused by her father, so they teach her to overcome her fear of flying so she can go find her mom. Flight, like See No Evil, was also a planned episode at one point, but because the crew were not sure they could get the flying effects right they decided against using the story. Nancy Holder took over writing duties for the third novel in the Aspect series. Released on January 1, 2003, Hauntings follows Clark and his friends as they investigate the ghostly presence in one of Smallville’s haunted houses. Little, Brown Young Readers released Animal Rage next, written by David and Bobby Weiss. The story focuses on an animal rights activist, Heather Fox, who can transform into any animal she touches. Heather uses this ability to harm people who hurt animals, until Clark discovers the truth and stops her. Aspect brought in Dean Wesley Smith for their next novel. Whodunit involves Clark, Chloe, Lana, and Pete investigating the murder of a boy and his sister, while Lex struggles with whether he will pay a ransom demand for his kidnapped father or simply try rescuing Lionel himself.
Little, Brown Young Readers published the next two books in April and June 2003. The first, titled "Speed", was written by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld. The second, titled "Buried Secrets", was written by Suzan Colon. Speed involves a boy using an hourglass his father gave him for his birthday to stop time and commit various hate crimes without getting caught. Clark stops him before he can cause any damage at a local multicultural festival. Buried Secrets follows Clark and Lex as they both fall in love with a mind-reading substitute Spanish teacher. In the novel, Clark and Lex’s friendship is put in jeopardy as the two compete for the teacher’s love.
On September 9, 2004, Aspect published Shadows, written by Diana G. Gallagher. Shadows is about a girl and her father who move to Smallville. The father creates a monster which begins killing people. Jonathan Kent assumes the deaths are LuthorCorp related, which causes tension between him and his son. Clark ascertains the truth to prove Lex’s innocence, and stops the creatures before they can kill again. Colon returned to write Runaway, a story about Clark running away to the city and living with other homeless teenagers. Clark falls in love with one of the girls before eventually returning home. Smallville: Silence was written by Nancy Holder, and features the characters investigating the appearance of zombies in town. Little, Brown Young Readers released their eighth book, written by Bennett and Gottesfeld, titled Greed. In this novel, Clark and his friends take jobs as summer counselors to disadvantaged youths. One of the boys falls into Crater Lake and is imbued with the ability to foretell the future. Lionel learns of this and tries to exploit it. Pete tries to abuse Clark’s abilities by tricking him into playing in a basketball game and then betting on the outcome.
Alan Grant returned for a second outing to write Curse, about a grave digger who unleashes a 150-year-old curse onto Smallville, with Clark’s attempting to put everything back to the way it was. On February 1, 2004, Little, Brown Young Readers released a new book by Suzan Colon, entitled Temptation. In the novel, Clark uses red kryptonite to try to impress Lana and Chloe after they become infatuated with a new French foreign exchange student. Aspect released their final novel on March 1, 2004. Written by Devin K. Grayson, City follows Clark and Lex as they take a trip to Metropolis. While in the city, the pair get caught between the Japanese mafia and a secret agent who believes he has found an alien. In Little, Brown Young Readers’ final novel, "Sparks", written by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld, Chloe is hit by kryptonite sparks from a fireworks display. The sparks make Chloe the desire of every man, but when they wear off, one of them decides he really does want Chloe and kidnaps her. Clark comes to her rescue in the end.
Comic books 
Before the start of season two, DC Comics published a one-shot comic based on the television series. Simply titled Smallville: The Comic, the issue features two stories. The first, written by Mark Verheiden and Roy Martinez, is titled "Raptor" and features an abused boy who is mutated into a Raptor, thanks to kryptonite, and decides to seek revenge on the Luthor family. Michael Green and John Paul Leon wrote the second story, "Exile and The Kingdom", which provides insight into why Lex chose to stay in Smallville after his father offered him a position in Metropolis at the end of season one. Eventually, DC Comics began publishing a bi-monthly comic featuring various stories involving the characters from Smallville. Writer and script coordinator Clint Carpenter described the comic book line as a companion piece to the show, instead of a non-canon version of the characters. Carpenter said the comic book line expands on events which occurred in the show, like showing what happens after season-ending cliffhangers. Carpenter saw the comics as providing "additional depth" to those characters who received limited screen time on the show, or whose storylines needed additional explanation.
Carpenter was not the first person asked to oversee the comic. Mark Verheiden, who co-wrote the one-shot comic, was originally going to be in charge of the bi-monthly series. Verheiden's commitment to the television series kept him from working on the comic books, so he asked Carpenter if he would take on the responsibility. Although the series was meant to expand on the events of the show, occasionally there were continuity errors created because of the differences in production schedules between the comic and the show. One such instance occurred when the comic book showed Clark robbing an ATM, while the season three premiere showed him robbing multiple ATMs. The series not only tied into the television show, but also the Chloe Chronicles webisodes and the various Smallville-related webpages. In addition, the comics featured interviews with the cast and crew as well as information on the production of the episodes.
|1||Smallville||DC Comics||April 7th 2004||ISBN 9781401202040 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]|
Note: The full title of all volumes listed here start with "Smallville: ".
It was announced on February 8, 2012, that a Smallville season eleven comic book would be published by DC Comics. The series would first be released digitally and then collected into a three issue print edition once a month. The first digital issue was released on April 13, 2012, and the first print issue on May 2, 2012. In the comic book, written by Bryan Q. Miller, who also served as executive story editor for the television series, set six months after Darkseid's attack, Clark no longer fights crime by the alias "The Blur", but has been dubbed "Superman" by the masses. He also altered the costume that Martha made for him during the television series. As Clark enjoys the general acceptance from the public, there are people who distrust him, including Lex Luthor, despite the fact that he lost his memories after his encounter with Tess Mercer. Starting January 4, 2013, spinning off from both the television series and the comic book series' second arc, "Detective", a new series of parallel adventures will be published digitally on the title's off-week before being printed, with a new arc "Effigy", featuring a team-up of the show's recurring character John Jones and Batman.
Main series 
|1||Guardian||DC Comics||April 16th, 2013||ISBN 9781401238247 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]|
|2||Detective||DC Comics||August 20th, 2013||ISBN 9781401240943 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]|
|3||Haunted||DC Comics||October 22nd, 2013||ISBN 9781401242916 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]|
|4||Argo||DC Comics||TBA||ISBN TBA|
|5||Olympus||DC Comics||TBA||ISBN TBA|
Note: The full title of all volumes listed here start with "Smallville Season 11: ".
Interlude series 
|1||Effigy||DC Comics||May 29, 2013||ISBN TBA|
|2||Valkyrie||DC Comics||TBA||ISBN TBA|
|3||Hollow||DC Comics||TBA||ISBN TBA|
Note: The full title of all volumes listed here start with "Smallville Season 11 Specials: ".
Chloe Chronicles 
Allison Mack's character, Chloe Sullivan, has starred in two promotional tie-in series, Smallville: Chloe Chronicles, and Vengeance Chronicles. There were two volumes of "Chloe Chronicles" totaling eleven mini-episodes. The first volume featured Chloe investigating events which led to the death of Earl Jenkins, who held Chloe and her friends hostage at the LuthorCorp plant in the first season episode "Jitters". It aired between April 29 and May 20, 2003, and was exclusive to AOL subscribers. After the first volume received positive responses from viewers, the second volume was created as a continuation, but with Sam Jones III appearing as Pete Ross. This volume used the Smallville comic books as a secondary tie-in to the series. Viewers could watch Smallville, followed by Chloe's Chronicles, and finish with the Smallville comic book, which would provide an "enhanced backstory to the online segments". The later series, Vengeance Chronicles, is a spin-off of the fifth season episode "Vengeance". In this series, Chloe joins forces with a costumed vigilante, whom she dubs the "Angel of Vengeance", to expose Lex Luthor's Level 33.1 experiments on meteor-infected people.
The idea for an online show centered on Chloe came from Mark Warshaw, who ran the show's website and was in charge of the DVDs. The series was intended to wrap up "unfinished business" from the television show. Although Smallville: Chloe Chronicles first began airing on AOL, it eventually made its way to the United Kingdom's Channel 4 website. According to Lisa Gregorian, senior vice president, television, Warner Bros. Marketing Services, "Our goal is to create companion programming that offers new and exciting ways to engage the audience, just as music videos did for record promotion." Allison Mack described the show as "very Nancy Drew and mysterious", and saying, "I think it’s a bit more like The X-Files or NYPD Blue. The Chronicles are like a detective story, with Chloe following clues and interviewing people, going from spot to spot, figuring things out." The scripts were written by Brice Tidwell, but Mack was given script approval for the series, allowing her to review and make changes to the script as she saw fit. Warshaw communicated regularly with Gough and Millar so he could find unique ways to expand Smallville stories over to Chloe’s Chronicles.
Promotional tie-ins 
For the season three premiere, the Smallville producers teamed up with Verizon to provide its registered users the chance to view plot updates—in the form of a press release from The Daily Planet—as well as quizzes and games related to the show. As part of the deal, Verizon products and services were placed in various episodes of the show. In a promotional tie-in with Sprint, Smallville Legends: The Oliver Queen Chronicles was released. The six-episode CGI series chronicled the early life of Oliver Queen. According to Lisa Gregorian, Executive Vice President of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Television Group, these promotional tie-ins were ways to get fans more connected to the show. On April 19, 2007, a tie-in with Toyota promoting their new Yaris featured an online comic strip as interstitial programs during new episodes of Smallville, titled Smallville Legends: Justice & Doom. The interactive comic was based on the episode "Justice", which follows the adventures of Oliver Queen, Bart Allen, Victor Stone, and Arthur Curry—the initial members of the "Justice League" in Smallville—as they seek to destroy all of LuthorCorp's secret experimental labs. The online series allowed viewers to investigate alongside the fictional team, in an effort to win prizes. Stephan Nilson wrote all five of the episodes while working with a team of artists on the illustrations. The plot for each comic episode was given to Nilson as the production crew for Smallville was filming their current television episode. Artist Steve Scott drew comic book panels, which were then sent to a group called Motherland. That group reviewed the drawings and told Scott which images to draw on a separate overlay. This allowed for multiple objects to be moved in and out of the same frame.
In 2008 The CW entered into a partnership with the makers of Stride brand chewing-gum to give viewers the opportunity to create their own Smallville digital comic, titled Smallville: Visions. The writers and producers developed the comic's beginning and end, but allowed viewers to provide the middle. The CW began their tie-in campaign with the March 13, 2008 episode "Hero", where Pete develops superhuman elasticity after chewing some kryptonite-infused Stride gum. Going to The CW's website, viewers vote on one of two options—each adding four pages to the comic—every Tuesday and Thursday until the campaign ended on April 7, 2008. For season seven, Smallville again worked with Sprint, bringing its customers "mobisodes" featuring Clark's cousin Kara, titled Smallville Legends: Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton.
Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar developed an Aquaman pilot for The WB, with Justin Hartley as Aquaman/Arthur Curry. As work progressed on the Smallville season five episode "Aqua", the character was recognized as having potential for his own series, even though the episode was never meant to be a backdoor pilot for an Aquaman television spin-off. Alan Ritchson was not considered for the role in the new series, because Gough and Millar did not consider it a spin-off from Smallville. Gough said in November 2005, "[The series] is going to be a different version of the 'Aquaman' legend." Gough did express the idea of a crossover with Smallville at some point. The pilot was considered to have a good chance of being picked up, but when The WB and UPN merged into The CW, the new network passed on the show.
During the sixth season, there was talk of spinning off the Green Arrow into his own series. Hartley refused to talk about the possibility of a spin-off out of respect for his role on Smallville. The actor felt it was his duty to respect what the show had accomplished in five seasons, and not "steal the spotlight" by thinking he was better than he was just because there was "talk" of a spin-off after only two appearances on the show. According to Hartley, "talking" was as far as the spin-off idea ever got.
Home release 
Seasons one through ten have been released on DVD in Region 1, 2 and 4. Seasons five and six were also released in the now-obsolete HD DVD format on November 28, 2006, and September 18, 2007, respectively. Seasons six, seven, eight, nine and ten have been released on Blu-ray formats. The DVD releases include deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and commentary by cast and crew members on selected episodes. The promotional tie-ins, Chloe Chronicles and Vengeance Chronicles, accompanied the season two, three, and five box sets. Other special features include interactive functionality, such as a tour of Smallville, a comic book, and DVD-ROM material.
|Complete Season||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1st||September 23, 2003||October 13, 2003||December 3, 2003|
|2nd||May 18, 2004||September 17, 2004||January 1, 2005|
|3rd||November 16, 2004||April 18, 2005||July 13, 2005|
|4th||September 13, 2005||October 10, 2005||November 11, 2006|
|5th||September 12, 2006||August 28, 2006||April 4, 2007|
|6th||September 18, 2007||October 22, 2007||March 5, 2008|
|7th||September 9, 2008||October 13, 2008||March 3, 2009|
|8th||August 25, 2009||October 12, 2009||March 31, 2010|
|9th||September 7, 2010||October 25, 2010||June 22, 2011|
|10th||November 29, 2011||October 17, 2011||April 4, 2012|
|The Complete Series||November 29, 2011||October 17, 2011||August 1, 2012|
|Season||Smallville Blu-ray releases|
|Region A||Region B|
|United States||Canada||United Kingdom||Australia|
|6th||September 18, 2007||October 9, 2007||October 13, 2008||March 3, 2009|
|7th||September 9, 2008||October 13, 2008||March 3, 2009|
|8th||August 25, 2009||October 12, 2009||March 31, 2010|
|9th||September 7, 2010||October 25, 2010||June 22, 2011|
|10th||November 29, 2011||October 17, 2011||April 4, 2012|
Since Smallville first began airing, an array of merchandise tying into the series has been released. Two soundtrack albums have been released compiling various songs that appeared on the show. On February 25, 2003, Smallville: The Talon Mix was released featuring a selected group of artists that licensed their music to the show. On November 8, 2005, Smallville: The Metropolis Mix was released, featuring another selected group of artists. Apart from the soundtracks encompassing various songs from the series' episodes, there have been action figures, T-shirts, hats, and posters created and marketed. In December 2002, selected autographed Smallville merchandise was placed up for auction on eBay, with the proceeds going to charity. In 2003, Titan publishing began releasing the Smallville magazine, a monthly magazine featuring interviews with the cast and crew, information on Smallville merchandise, and photos. Titan released the 34th issue of the Smallville magazine in November 2009, the final issue.
Titan Books published companion books for each of the seasons, which contained interviews with the cast and crew, descriptions of the episodes, and behind-the-scenes photos. On September 1, 2004, Titan Books released their first official companion for the series. Written by Paul Simpson, the book contains sixteen pages of color photos of the cast. On March 1, 2005, Titan Books released their companion for season two, also written by Simpson. The season two companion goes into more detail about the special effects used on the show. On September 1, 2005, Titan Books released the third season official companion. This was the last companion written by Simpson. Apart from the episodes' general plots, Simpson discussed the lack of use of the Martha Kent character, and why the Adam Knight storyline did not pan out. After two years, Titan Books released the fourth season companion on September 4, 2007, written by Craig Byrne, who also wrote the subsequent companion books. It contains interviews with the cast and crew, but this time the color spread contains images of the production itself. On December 26, 2007, Titan Books released the season five companion. On March 25, 2008, Titan Books released their sixth official companion for Smallville. The season six companion contains an introduction from Justin Hartley. The season seven companion would be the final book released by Titan. It contains a foreword from Laura Vandervoort, along with a reflection on the "Smallville phenomenon" and a discussion of the departure of Gough and Millar as executive producers and showrunners.
In 2010, a role playing game was released by Margaret Weis Productions using their Cortex System. It uses the setting of the show in season nine, with rules for earlier seasons. Supplements to the game have been produced. Players can play the characters from Smallville, or create their own spin-off of the show that has as much or as little connection to the show as they like.
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