Breaking: <i>Smallville</i> To End Next Season

Smallville will end next year after its 10th season, The Live Feed reports. The CW plans to make the announcement Thursday during its upfront presentation.

Star Tom Welling, who became a co-executive producer last season, has confirmed the cancellation, which doesn't exactly come as a surprise. Many thought the ninth season would be the series' last.

Debuting on Oct. 16, 2001, on what was then The WB, Smallville became an unlikely hit early on for the network, even as comic fans were skeptical of a series revolving around a young Superman that pledged "no tights, no flights." The pilot broke the record for the highest-rated debut on The WB, with 8.4 million viewers. Smallville is one of just three shows at The CW remaining from The WB days (Supernatural and One Tree Hill are the other two).

Developed by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, Smallville has averaged 4.47 million viewers per episode over its nine seasons, and a star of Welling, who has gone on to direct several episodes of the series. The show also spawned an Aquaman spinoff that didn't make it past the pilot. A much-discussed Green Arrow spinoff has never materialized.

Gough and Millar left the series in 2008 after the seventh season, leading many to believe Smallville quickly would be canceled. But the network, and the show, defied expectations, with Smallville actually climbing in the ratings after its ninth-season move to Fridays. The CW announced the 10th-season renewal in March.

Developing ...

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