The long-running Superman drama's gift for all of its years of high-rated and dedicated service to The CW? A trip to Friday nights, where it will lead into... Oblivion? Or, at the very least, where it will lead into "America's Next Top Model" encores.
It seems like a cold move until you look at the rest of The CW's week and realize that, perhaps for the first time, all of the netlet's programming pieces actually appear to fit together, leaving "Smallville" and the odd-show-out.
On Mondays, The CW is keeping "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill" together. Their audiences appear compatible, even if they have a certain combined ratings' ceiling.
Tuesday will be Old FOX Night on The CW. The rebooted "90210," essentially rebooted itself midseason, will lead into a rebooted "Melrose Place," with Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro returning to joining new stars like Katie Cassidy, Shaun Sipos, Stephanie Jacobson, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Jessica Lucas.
It will be Model Night on Wednesdays, with the semi-unscripted pretty-people-drama of "America's Next Top Model" fitting in with "The Beautiful Life," a scripted look at the lives of models. The stars of the Ashton Kutcher produced "The Beautiful Life" include Elle MacPherson, Mischa Barton, Sara Paxton and Corbin Bleu.
That leaves The CW with Supernatural Thursday, kicking the night off with "The Vampire Diaries" and going into "Supernatural." Although "The Vampire Diaries" is based on its own series of young adult novels, you can bet that The CW will be gunning for the "Twilight" audience with the story of a beautiful teen (Nina Dobrev) torn between her feelings for two vampires (Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley).
Don't those nights all make sense? "Smallville" just happened to be the show without a logical companion.
The CW still has "Parental Discretion Advised" set for midseason. Already on its third or fourth different titled, "Parental Discretion Advised" focuses on a young girl finding her biological parents and stars Britt Robertson, Kristoffer Polaha, Shiri Appleby and Kerr Smith.
Eagle-eyed CW fans will note that this schedule apparently means the end for bubble dramas "Privileged" and "Reaper," as well as the entire concept of "comedy" on The CW, with the departures of "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Game." As was previously announced, The CW has also departed Sunday nights entirely, leaving it to affiliates to figure out how to program.
THE CW'S 2009-2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
8:00 p.m. "Gossip Girl"
9:00 p.m. "One Tree Hill"
8:00 p.m. "90210"
9:00 p.m. "Melrose Place"
8:00 p.m. "America's Next Top Model"
9:00 p.m. "The Beautiful Life"
8:00 p.m. "The Vampire Diaries"
9:00 p.m. "Supernatural"
8:00 p.m. "Smallville"
9:00 p.m. "America's Next Top Model" Encores