“Smallville” ended its ten season run raking in three million viewers last Friday night, up more than sixty-three percent from the previous week and the show’s highest-rated episode since last fall. As a final thank you and farewell, the producers have released a special letter thanking fans for their dedication and loyalty over ten fantastic seasons:

“Nine years. At times it feels like forever (especially when we look at our Warner Bros ID badges we received our first week of work and we looked like kids!) and some times it feels like it’s only been a few weeks,” begin executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson. “We will probably measure all time against Smallville for the rest of our lives.”

“As it turns out, we’ve started measuring a lot against Smallville. We began as wide-eyed freshman. All we could focus on was getting that first big break in television. We used to sit in the writers’ room and stare at the beautiful Burbank scenery saying, ‘Wow, we did it. We’re here’. Two kids from the Midwest make good.”

“And it was quite a ride. 9/11 had just happened. The world was looking for a hero. Superman always fits that bill. Especially when you’re looking for an American hero who is just, not vengeful, home-grown and dare we say earnest.”

“Then a decade passes.The war falls on a later page in the paper. It’s easy to get buried under the thousands of decisions that go into every television season.”

“And you can lose perspective being in such a macro world. But, coming to the end of the show this year, we were able to step back and we were moved by what we saw. In fact, we used that view to help shape the final season of Smallville: Hope.”

“The theme this year was Believe in Heroes. They exist. And not just in red capes. And the fact that a show that’s survived two networks, two time slots and four different days of the week proves that people want to be inspired. People want to put their faith in hope and their trust in humanity.”

“We have been lucky. We got to sit with the writers and think about Superman every day. We got to think about what inspires us. Think about why Superman is the most recognizable character in the world. Think about the most avid fans in television and the reason they tune in every week—not only do they want to believe in good, they actually do.”

“Someone once said that you can only truly appreciate in others what you have the potential for in yourself. Superheroes are a reflection of who we want to become. Whatever impact we’ve had on the Superman mythos, it pales compared to the impact the fans of Superman across the globe have had on us. It’s what makes us believe there’s a more peaceful future out there. Being reminded of that every week for a decade has been a gift.”