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‘Smallville’ flies to HD Net

Cabler only place to see skein in original format

NEW YORK — HD Net, the cable network that provides a menu of news, sports, music and entertainment shows transmitted in high definition, has bought exclusive high-def rights to “Smallville,” from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable.

HD Net co-founder and prexy Mark Cuban said that, when it takes title to reruns of “Smallville” in September, the channel will be “the only place where viewers can see all of the series’ episodes in their original HD format.”

ABC Family owns the conventional basic-cable rights to “Smallville” reruns, but would not be able to feed them in high def for the next three years, the term of HD Net’s exclusivity.

HD Net’s total license term is four years, with additional years tacked on if the WB keeps renewing “Smallville” for future years. The show enters its fourth season on the WB this fall.

A fresh hit series like “Smallville” is a departure for HD Net, which has previously licensed such busted TV series as “Andy Richter Conquers the Universe” and Steven Bochco’s “Philly,” with Kim Delaney.

Eric Frankel, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, engineered the deal for Warners.