*Justin Hartley will be returning as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow as a series regular.
*Erica Durance will be in 12-13 episodes; however, this could increase as needed.
*Kristen Kreuk will be in approximately 6-7 episodes.
Old News: Allison Mack will be returning. (I believe for all 22 episodes.)
This isn't exactly the news I wanted to hear. I am a bit disappointed, but I'm going to try to stay optimistic.
Why am I a little disappointed?
It's no secret that I watch this show for Clark Kent. That is what I tuned in for to begin with. I wanted to see Clark overcome the awkwardness of his youth, find where he belongs, and become a hero. What an awesome story to tell.
When the show started to stagnate Clark and stall character development, I stayed for Clark/Lois. (By then the Clark and Lex scenes were becoming fewer and fewer anyway.) Lois is my fave female character in the Superman mythos. I don't believe she is necessary for a story about Clark Kent growing up, but she makes the show fun for me. And when I stopped getting massive Clark development, they were all I had left.
(Micheal Rosembaum's Lex Luthor is a class in and of itself. I loved watching his story parallel Tom Welling' Clark Kent. And the rest of the cast was great, too. *sigh* I already miss him.)
Look, I love Ollie. Really. Those were some of the best episodes we've had the past two seasons. The problem with Oliver is that he overshadows Clark. We're supposed to believe that Superman will one day lead the Justice League. While it's been fantastic watching Clark have a male friend to turn to again - which he seriously needs - I don't want Oliver to come back overpower Clark. He should suppliment Clark, not steal the spotlight. However, if maybe they do some kind of story with Chloe and Oliver that might be cool. She's already been freelancing for him. Maybe he can get her out of jail. They could explore some interesting things with that teamup.
As long as the story stays focused on Clark Kent they can bring in anyone they want LOL I think Oliver is an awesome character when used properly.
Then we have ED still at her 12-13 episode contract. I love Erica Durance's Lois. I would love to see more of her. However, if she is just going to be used as filler, I'll keep the 13 episode limit. This is SV's final year. We should be seeing Lois coming closer and closer to her iconic self. She's already half way there. Let's see some more. Let's get more Lois in trouble and Lois the investigative reporter. That would be nice. If they only need 13 episodes to accomplish this, so be it. But I'd welcome more.
KK will be in 6-7 episodes. Now, since she has always been the female lead of the show, that doesn't bother me so much as long as we can finally end this Clana business. Let's see them put it behind themselves and realize it won't work, and become friends. They were off to a great start in S7 and I would liek to see that conclude in S8. Hopefully, this will be wrapped up sooner than later, but I suppose it is always possible it won't be until the last episode. I hope not, only because it is my opinion that the Clana aspect tends to hold Clark back.
I like Chloe so I'm not disappointed that she is returning. I do hope that they make her a little less "go to person" for Clark so he can do some investiagting on his own. And she has plenty of room to have her own storyline continue to develop. I would like to see her do more with her powers or help people or work with Oliver. Here's hoping :)
In short, none of the changes will matter if they focus on Clark's story. The pieces will fall into place. As long as they focus on Clark, it won't matter how many episodes Lois or Oliver or Chloe or Lana or whoever is in. But if they don't use this last season to really drive Clark, then it's going to be a problem.
Anyway, YMMV. But S8 could be one of the best or worst seasons ever depending on what they focus on :)