Production on the baby-Superman show Smallville will be taking a bit of a break after the tenth episode. There will be a long-ish break between the fall and spring blocks of episodes, during which Reaper will take over Smallville's slot. Partly, this lets the show run all of its spring episodes in a row, without interruption. And it's insurance against a still-possible actors' strike. But mostly, fans are speculating that it lets the producers turn the second half of the season into a fitting ending for the show, if it gets cancelled. According to fan blog Operation Save Clark Kent:

The break means that the network can decide if they want more Smallville and if they do- the writers can adjust their back half of the season for this instead of having to randomly end things leaving no one satisfied if they don't get their expected pick up.

Weirdly enough for a site whose title clamors for Clark Kent to be saved, the writer says she hopes Smallville does end next spring. She points out that the ninth episode of the season (the one where Chloe loses her memories) is a "clip episode," and when shows start doing those, it's "a sign they're on their last legs creatively." (Actually, isn't it usually a budgetary thing, or a lack of scripts? Like when Riker had the brain spore in Star Trek: TNG season two?) It's definitely a bad sign when the show's own fansites are saying it's "on its last legs creatively," so maybe the producers will take a hint and start thinking of ways to wrap season eight up with a nice bow. [OSCK]