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.