Every Superman TV show ever, ranked from worst to best

We've seen plenty of live-action and animated Superman TV shows, but which one is the most super of them all?

Superman & Lois -- “Complications” -- Image Number: SML311a_0060r -- Pictured: Tyler Hoechlin as Superman -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Superman & Lois -- “Complications” -- Image Number: SML311a_0060r -- Pictured: Tyler Hoechlin as Superman -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /
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Superman, Smallville
Smallville: The Complete Series. © 2021 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment /

2. Smallville

As times continued to change in the mid '90s and early 2000s, TV changed along with it. There was a huge burst of teen dramas and family dramas, all targeted towards younger audiences. And as it worked so well last time with Lois and Clark, Superman was brought out of TV hibernation once again and thrown into the teen drama landscape. Enter Smallville.

The show dramatized Clark Kent's teenage years, as the young man began to realize that he wasn't just a normal kid, exploring his abilities and eventually using them for good, protecting Smallville from harm while also forming an unlikely friendship with Lex Luthor. It was an unusual spin on the Superman lore, but one that worked dramatically well because of how it masqueraded as so many different genres. After all, the show ran for 10 seasons, so it clearly did something right.

On the surface, Smallville sounds a bit like Superboy but the reason that it succeeded in the way that it did was its effortless ability to blend teen and family drama with superheroes. It was the perfect show for a generation equally obsessed with the likes of Dawson's Creek and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It reeled viewers in with its heart, characters, their romances, and emotions, ensuring that when it eventually became a fully-fledged superhero show midway through its run, they were hooked.

Smallville is both a product of its time and a perfect example of just how timeless Superman is. His story appeals to all generations, and Tom Welling's endearing performance as the young Man of Steel made every single adventure in the show's 217 episodes worth watching.