Smallville is an American television series developed by writer-producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, based on the DC Comics character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The series, initially broadcast by The WB, premiered on October 16, 2001. After Smallville's fifth season, The WB and UPN merged to form The CW, the series' later United States broadcaster. Smallville, which ended its tenth and final season on May 13, 2011, follows Clark Kent (Tom Welling) in the fictional town of Smallville, Kansas, before he becomes known as Superman. The first four seasons focus on Clark and his friends in high school. After season five Smallville ventures into adult settings, eventually focusing on his career at the Daily Planet and introducing other DC comic-book superheroes and villains.
Before the series' production, Bruce Wayne, chronicling the young protagonist's journey toward Batman, was proposed first. Although that series failed to generate interest, it inspired Smallville. Series developers Gough and Millar pitched their "no tights, no flights" rule to the president of Warner Bros. Television, reducing Superman to the bare essentials and examining what led Clark Kent to become the Man of Steel. After seven seasons with the show, Gough and Millar departed with little explanation. Smallville was primarily filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, with local businesses and buildings substituting for Smallville locations. Most of the music for the first six seasons was composed by Mark Snow, who incorporated elements of John Williams' musical score from the Superman film series. In season seven, Louis Febre (who worked with Snow from the beginning) became the series' primary composer.
Smallville was generally positively received when it began. Former Superman star Christopher Reeve expressed approval for the series, making two guest appearances before his death. The pilot episode set a ratings record for a WB debut, with 8.4 million viewers. Over ten seasons the series averaged about 4.34 million viewers per episode, with season two the highest-rated at 6.3 million. By the end of its run, Smallville passed Stargate SG-1 as the longest-running North American science-fiction series. Since its first season, the series received accolades ranging from Emmys to Teen Choice Awards. Smallville spawned a series of young-adult novels, a DC Comics bimonthly comic book, soundtrack recordings and series-related merchandise. All ten seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2 and 4. In April 2012, it continued in comic-book form with a storyline resuming shortly after the series finale, and ended in November 2014.