We had already reported that Michael Rosenbaum and Kristin Kreuk had not signed to return for the eighth season of Smallville. Fortunately, Mike Ausiello at TV Guide has spilled some more news about the fate of everyone's favorite cast members.
According to his report, although Rosenbaum and Kreuk won't be series regulars, both are willing to do a portion of the season. "Kristin will be back for a portion of the season - likely the first third," Al Gough, Smallville's executive producer said, "and Michael... quite frankly, those negotiations are just getting started. So there's no word one way or the other whether he'll be back next year or not."
The report also says that while Allison Mack has not officially re-signed, it is expected that Mack's Chloe will appear for a minimum of 18 episodes.
So, with Clark losing his best-friend/arch-enemy and his love interest, what can we expect from next season? We know that he still can't begin his relationship with Lois. Ausiello hints that we may see a new love interest in Clark's life, and in that hint he links to the Wikipedia entry for at Lori Lemaris. In the comics, Lemaris is a mermaid who dates Clark while both are attending Metropolis University. In addition to being a mermaid, Lemaris is also a telepath, who knows Clark's secret identity.
The introduction of Lori Lemaris onto Smallville would certainly shake the status quo up for the eighth season, if this rumor proves to be true.
Smallville airs Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. on The CW Network.