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Smallville is an American television series developed by writers/producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, based on the DC Comics character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The television series was initially broadcast by The WB, premiering on October 16, 2001. After its fifth season, The WB and UPN merged to form The CW, which is the current broadcaster for the show in the United States. Smallville began its ninth season on September 25, 2009. 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 focused on Clark and his friends' high school years. Since season five, the show has 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 derived after a potential series chronicling a young Bruce Wayne's journey toward becoming Batman failed to get off the ground. After meeting with the president of Warner Bros. Television, Gough and Millar pitched their "no tights, no flights" rule, which would break Superman down to the bare essentials and look at the events that led Clark Kent to become Superman. After seven seasons with the show, series developers Gough and Millar departed without providing a specific reason. Smallville is predominantly filmed in and around Vancouver, with some of the local businesses and buildings substituting for Smallville locations. The music is primarily composed by Mark Snow, who incorporates elements of John Williams's musical score from the original Superman film series. The song played under the opening titles is "Save Me" by Remy Zero; several episodes also contain songs written and performed by other bands.
The series received generally positive reception when it began broadcasting. Former Superman star Christopher Reeve voiced his approval of the series, and the pilot episode broke the record for highest rated debut for The WB, with 8.4 million viewers. With eight seasons completed, Smallville has averaged approximately 4.76 million viewers per episode, with season two averaging the highest ratings at 6.3 million. Since its first season, the series has earned distinctions ranging from Emmy Awards to Teen Choice Awards. Smallville has inspired an Aquaman pilot, which was ultimately not picked up by The CW network, as well as promotional tie-ins with Verizon, Sprint, Toyota, and Stride. In other media, 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. Currently, eight seasons of Smallville are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4.
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