Alfred Gough and Miles Millar’s prequel TV series Smallville opened up the story of DC Comics’ Superman to a younger WB-centric audience. Originally airing on The WB and later moving to The CW, the series followed Clark Kent in his fictional town of Smallville, Kansas before he becomes known as the red-caped superhero. While the first four seasons focus on a high school version of Clark and his friends, the show eventually dives into more mature settings, segueing into his time at college and career at the Daily Planet newspaper. Later episodes introduce other DC superheroes and villains into the storyline expanding the show’s universe and amassing a whopping 10 seasons and 217 episodes.
The show’s staying power was a result of its popularity. In addition to its lengthy televised run, the show spawned young adult novels and comic books including a run entitled “Smallville Season Eleven.” Smallville even inspired the British series Merlin, and spin-offs for Aquaman and Green Arrow were both considered (neither of which would reach airwaves, however). Also adding to its cred, former Superman star Christopher Reeve approved of the series and even made two guest appearances before his death in 2004.
Can’t get enough superhero action? Here’s how to watch Smallville streaming online.
How to Watch Smallville Online & Stream the Complete Series
Among all the streaming services, Hulu has exclusive rights to every episode of Smallville. There are a couple different options when signing up for Hulu, but either one will get you access to the show’s complete library:
If you simply want Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, you can sign up right here. It costs $7.99 per month for the limited commercials plan or $11.99 per month for the no commercials plan.
If you want to go from watching Hulu’s on-demand library to live TV without changing the app, you can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV”. This option gives you access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, as well as a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels. It costs $39.99 per month for the plan that includes limited commercials with the on-demand content or $43.99 per month for the plan that includes no commercials with the on-demand content.
After signing up for either of the above options, you can watch any episode of Smallville on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead
How Many Smallville Seasons Are There?
For 10 seasons, Clark Kent, a young man with special abilities, tries to figure out his place in the world after making the shocking discovery that he’s actually a super-powered alien who can use his gift to help those in danger.
Smallville Season 1
21 Episodes | October 2001 – May 2002
Twelve years prior, a meteor shower rained down and Clark Kent arrived on Earth from above. When the series begins, we watch Clark’s formative teen years as he realizes and adjusts to his developing superpowers years before he officially becomes Superman. Adoptive parents Martha and Jonathan Kent try to help their son deal with his alien origin, but his love for Lana Lang and the guilt from not being able to tell his best friends Pete Ross and Chloe Sullivan weigh heavily on him. After saving his life, Clark befriends Lex Luthor, who spends the season trying to assert his independence from his father, Lionel.
Smallville Season 2
23 Episodes | September 2002 – May 2003
Season 2 picks up right where its first season ended with Clark dealing with the destruction left behind after a series of tornadoes hit his small town of Smallville. In this season, Clark finally learns where he comes from and who he is, while his biological father appears to complicate things further, imparting a fated destiny upon Clark. Clark’s relationship with Lana heats up which puts his friendship with Chloe in jeopardy. Clark’s secret is uncovered by his best friend Pete.
Smallville Season 3
22 Episodes | October 2003 – May 2004
Clark fights against the destiny that his father, Jor-El, imposed on him. Lex deals with lingering psychological trauma that occurred as a result of being stranded on a deserted island. The conflict between Lex and Lionel comes to a head. Pete struggles to keep Clark’s secret, and Clark and Lana’s relationship stalls out. Chloe is presumably killed in an explosion.
Smallville Season 4
22 Episodes | September 2004 – May 2005
Clark and his friends enter senior year, while the burgeoning superhero yearns to unite the three stones of knowledge. Lana starts a new fling with Jason Teague, forcing Clark to cope with his feelings. Distrust starts to grow between Clark and Lex, both of whom are naive toward their futures as nemeses. Pete (Sam Jones III) exists the series just as Lois Lane (Erica Durance) enters as a recurring character for 13 episodes.
Smallville Season 5
22 Episodes | September 2005 – May 2006
The aftermath of the second meteor shower hits home as Clark deals with college, adulthood, a second chance with Lana, and a loss of someone he holds dear. His relationship with Lex remains to be strained. Professor Fine (James Marsters) sources Clark with information regarding LutherCorp’s shady projects, which includes weapon manufacturing. Lionel appears to have transformed into a better person, but no one fully believes his new lifestyle. Fine unleashes a computer virus that could potentially lead to the destruction of Earth.
Smallville Season 6
22 Episodes | September 2006 – May 2007
Clark gets help escaping from the Phantom Zone from his father’s assistant, Raya. Throughout the season, Clark recaptures several of the Phantom Zone’s escaped criminals and brings them to justice. Lionel and Lex’s destinies are changed forever after Lex’s possession by Zod. Lionel performs under his newfound role as diplomat and representative for Jor-El. Lex and Lana get married which stuns Clark. When Clark finally tells Lana his origin story, he learns that Lionel forced Lana to marry his son. Phantom copies of Clark’s DNA creates a bizarre clone of Clark.
Smallville Season 7
20 Episodes | September 2007 – May 2008
Clark meets his biological cousin Kara and attempts to teach her how to harness her special abilities. After framing him for her murder, Lana reveals that she faked her own death to try to take Lex and his corporation down for good. Chloe learns that she has kryptonite-included abilities and struggles to get used to her new life. Big villains of the season include Marsters’ return as Brainiac and Lionel’s secret society who have the means to control Clark. The season finishes with a huge showdown between Lex and Clark at the Fortress of Solitude. Amid the battle, the fortress is toppled setting up the series for what’s to come, with Lex Luther presumed dead.
Smallville Season 8
22 Episodes | September 2008 – May 2009
Clark starts a job at the Daily Planet and begins to graciously accept his role as the world’s protector. Clark meets new characters Davis Bloome (Doomsday) as well as the new CEO of LuthorCorp, Tess Mercer. Chloe revs up her relationship with Jimmy Olsen, while Clark cops some feels for Lois Lane. Oliver Queen and Clark disagree on how to handle Lex if and when he resurfaces.
Smallville Season 9
21 Episodes | September 2009 – May 2010
Clark begins training with Jor-El, leaving everyone he cares for behind. He dons a new costume which bears his family crest on the chest.
The ninth season is all about Clark embracing his heritage, and as a result, his relationships with Chloe and Oliver both deteriorate. The villanous Metallo and the crooked Agent Amanda Waller are introduced.
Smallville Season 10
22 Episodes | September 2010 – May 2011
Season 10 culminates by catching the story up to the legend of Superman as we know it. The final season of the series follows the building romance between Clark and Lois Lane as well as the continuation of Clark’s training and trials. The forging of his Superman identity is cemented.
What Are the Best Smallville Episodes?
Here’s a list of some of the best Smallville episodes.
Season 9, Episode 11: “Absolute Justice”
With its smart writing and top notch effects work, this episodes remains one of the tightest of the series and also one of the only two-hour episodes in Smallville history. Chloe and Clark investigate the murder of the Star-Spangled Kid, while Clark learns that Carter Hall and the rest of the Justice Society of America have been watching him and his superhero friends. It’s a gripping episode that doesn’t quit with its punches, as Tess is revealed to be another agent of Checkmate.
Season 5, Episode 12: “Reckoning”
It’s a rollercoaster of emotions for Clark who finally wants to reveal his secret to Lana only to find himself in a race against time to save her life. His adoptive father Jonathan dies of a heart attack, leaving Clark to man up and make some big decisions on his own.
Season 8, Episode 11: “Legion”
A super-powered trio of aliens from the 31st century arrive just in the nick of time to save Clark from a tight spot. Brainiac has possessed Chloe’s body leaving Clark with a tough decision: in order to save the world, he must kill Chloe.
Season 4, Episode 17: “Onyx”
A kryptonite explosion splits Lex into two beings, one good and one evil. Evil Lex traps his better half in the mansion and tries to kill Chloe and Clark. After failing to convince Clark to join him, Lex is fused back together by Clark using black kryptonite.
Who Are the Actors in the Smallville Cast?
Tom Welling as Clark Kent
Clark Kent is the main protagonist of Smallville who eventually becomes Earth’s hero. He’s a super-powered alien from Krypton raised in Smallville, Kansas. Though he’s best known for playing Superman, Welling can also be seen in Cheaper By the Dozen and The Fog remake, and is currently on the show Lucifer.
Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
Chloe married Oliver Mack and provided support to Clark, Oliver and the other heroes. She worked as a struggling reporter for the Daily Planet before managing the Isis Foundation. Mack is also known for playing Amanda on Wilfred.
Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
Lana is Clark Kent’s first love interest and Lex Luthor’s ex-wife. She spent her time being a vigilante fighting to save lives and protect then humanity around her. She founded the Isis Foundation which aimed to help meteor-infected metahumans. After Smallville, Kreuk starred in the TV series Beauty and the Beast.
Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luther
Luther and Clark’s friendship wavered throughout the series, but neither of them could ever have guessed how dangerous their relationship would become in the future. Rosenbaum is known for movies like Urban Legend and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and also his podcast, Inside of You.
Erica Durance as Lois Lane
Lane is a reporter for the Daily Planet, Clark’s eventual wife, and the outspoken cousin of Chloe. Durance revisited the comic book world starring in nine episodes of Supergirl.
Rounding out the cast are Annette O’Toole and John Schneider as Clark’s adoptive parents, and John Glover as Lex’s father, Lionel.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on Smallville?
Christopher Reeve as Dr. Virgil Swann / Himself
The man who made the Superman role famous, Christopher Reeve, guest starred in two episodes before his untimely passing. Reeve starred in four Superman movies in addition to roles in films like Noises Off, Village of the Damned and Speechless.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind Smallville?
Smallville was developed for television at the hands of two particular writer-producers.
Alfred Gough: Smallville Co-creator, Writer and Producer
After the TV version of Superman hung up his cape, Gough worked on the Charlie’s Angels series, The Shannara Chronicles and Into the Badlands.
Miles Miller: Smallville Co-creator, Writer and Producer
Miller shares many of the same credits with Gough, and is also known for producing Hannah Montana: The Movie.
Where Smallville Ranks in the Television Pantheon
When Smallville debuted in 2001, it helped its modest little network break records. The WB had a new highest-rated series debut on its hands with 8.4 million viewers tuning in for Clark Kent’s premiere episode. It also set a record for adult viewers aged 18-34, while also finishing first among viewers aged 12-34. The achievements and accolades kept rolling in. The show was featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly as one of the best five new shows to watch, while the Parents Television Council named it one of the 10 best broadcast programs. In a 2011 issue of TV Guide, Michael Schneider called Smallville one of the best examples of a superhero adaptation for television.
Even former Superman Christopher Reeve was on board. He was quoted by author Paul Simpson saying:
“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.”