In its 9th season, trapped in the Phantom Zone or the Friday Night Death Slot on the lowest rated network on broadcast television, Smallville has managed a superhero escape of its own, breaking the Friday Night Curse and beating out major network programming like Joss Whedon's Dollhouse on FOX, as well as the revived soaps that Dawn Ostroff pushed it out to make way for, like Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210.

Impossibly, Smallville's ratings have actually been improving over the season that was supposed to be its last, even as Ostroff's attempt to revive FOX soaps has run into a wall of trouble. Supernatural on Thursday nights is barely managing to stay ahead of Smallville. The Vampire Diaries is doing well in its freshman season, but will not outlast the Twilight craze it has been built on. Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 are dying, despite the huge amount of money and energy that Ostroff has put into them.

The heavily advertised Beautiful Life was cancelled, proving once again that Ashton Kutcher is not a producer, but a male model who stumbled into celebrity. Meanwhile Gossip Girl, the series that Ostroff decided would be the CW's signature jewel, is pulling in a 1.0, well below Smallville's latest ratings. And out of desperation is diving into the threesome pool. So much for Dawn Ostroff's approach of sidelining superheroes in favor of soap operas.