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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Breaking news: Smallvile creators quit

In a shocking twist, Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar have quit the show they’ve helmed for seven years.

In an open letter posted at Kryptonsite, Gough and Millar don’t give a specific reason for their exit, yet say that it comes “after much heartache and debate.” They also hint that perhaps there was some trouble behind the scenes, thanking John Litvack, who “when the knives were out, you always had our backs.”

Gough and Millar will exit at the end of this season. Smallville has been renewed for an eight season on the CW for next year.

Here is a portion of the letter.

As the creators of Smallville we look back at 7 amazing years. We look back at 152 episodes. We look back knowing that the show will continue into Season 8 without us. After much heartache and debate we have decided it is time for us to move on.

Over the last 7 years we have had the honor of working with a remarkable team of people here in Los Angeles and in Vancouver. We have been blessed with a wonderful cast who we have watched mature with admiration and affection. We have been rewarded with a fan base that is as loyal as it is vocal.

We are incredibly proud of our work on this show. We achieved what we set out to do. We never compromised our vision. We leave knowing that Smallville is the longest — running comic book based series of all — time. The show was featured on the covers of Rolling Stone, MAD magazine, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. The pilot had the highest — rated premiere in the history of the WB. Even in its seventh year it is still the #1 scripted show on the network. Smallville is watched by millions of people in hundreds of countries and in dozens of languages around the world.

To read the letter in its entirety click here.

I’m not sure whether this is good or bad news. On the troublesome side, shows never tend to flourish creatively when the creators leave. (See Aaron Sorkin’s exit from The West Wing and Kevin Williamson’s exit from Dawson’s Creek as proof.) Those shows seemed to lose the original vision and got away from the main characters we loved. On the flip side, this season of Smallville has been the worst of the series history, in my opinion, with the exception of a couple episodes. The show seems to have lost its heart and what made it special.

For me, the magic of Smallville was about young Clark Kent learning about his powers, awkwardly trying to use them, and trying to maneuver his young life as an alien who was raised as a human. But, after seven seasons, his parents are off the canvas, Lana Lang continues to be the center of the show, Clark has already met Lois, and he’s fighting villains we see later in the Superman cannon. Smallville doesn’t feel like the show I began watching seven years ago, with one exception: the strong bond between Clark and Chloe.

I hope the final year of Smallville gets back to its roots. I wish Gough and Millar the best of luck and a sincere thank you for giving us one of the most refreshing shows to ever hit the airwaves.


obxrulz said...

Jennifer, I don't know whether this is good or bad either. The good is that Al and Miles have been obsessed with Lana forever, at least that's how it sounds on the DVD commentaries. So hopefully now the show can move in a direction.

But i agree with you that when creators leave, a show suffers. I hated The WEst Wing after Sorkin left and the Creek became unwatchable during the college years.

Anonymous said...

this is a stunner...wow

I don't get it. They had only one more season left. There must have been some sort of power struggle with the CW. That's the only thing that makes sense.

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