It can’t be said that The CW hasn’t tried to make Supernatural spin-offs a thing. Over the years, new spin-off pilots have been created and two even made it to air.
But maybe, just maybe, it’s time to admit defeat that Supernatural just can’t host a spin-off successfully. The network has certainly given it the old college try, first with the critically-panned Bloodlines and then last year with the feminist ensemble Wayward Sisters. But neither attempt worked for whatever reason, despite the legendary, vocal fanbase supporting both ideas, and The CW moved on without giving either one a series pickup. But with Supernatural being such a force to be reckoned with (14 years and counting!), the IP is just too valuable not to milk for all it’s worth. However, the network is finally wising up to what makes Supernatural work: not the universe, not ancillary characters but the two mega stars at the center of the show, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, who have shouldered the series for a decade and a half. Surprising that it’s taken the network that long to realize what everyone else has known since the start!
Speaking at the 2018 Summer Television Critics Association press tour on Monday morning, CW President Mark Pedowitz finally admitted that’s why spin-offs just don’t seem to be working, because neither project had the promise of the Supernatural boys past the first episode. “I am concerned it may be Jared and Jensen and there may not be a franchise beyond that,” Pedowitz told the room of reporters. Ding ding ding! The best parts of Bloodlines and Wayward Sisters was how the Winchester boys reacted and dealt with the premise of both attempted spin-offs, and not the spin-offs themselves.
But that doesn’t mean that Pedowitz is totally closed on the idea of a Supernatural spin-off series in the future. It just depends on the idea and end product and response. “It is a great franchise,” Pedowitz noted. “If the executive producers want to do one, we’re open to listening.” But that’s going to be a major mountain to climb with the long and storied history of attempted spin-offs.
Supernatural: Bloodlines was introduced back in 2014 as a planted backdoor pilot about warring mafia-like monster families in Chicago. There was a Romeo and Juliet romance surrounded by the criminal underworld of supernatural monster families, which Sam and Dean encountered on a random mission in the city. But there were just too many new characters to remember and Sam and Dean left the city at the end of the episode, so there was nothing for longtime fans of Supernatural to grab onto. Bloodlines wasn’t picked up to series and The CW tried again last season with the all-female-led Wayward Sisters.
The premise this time was much better: a chosen family of women that Sam and Dean had worked with many times before. It had a strong feminist angle, something altogether new and fresh for a series that’s always been male-centric. But the planted backdoor pilot didn’t move the needle enough to get picked up to series, despite a very powerful grassroots campaign to get Wayward Sisters made. “We were very happy with the women in the Wayward Sisters spin-off,” Pedowitz said. “We had a certain number of spots this year, and it just didn’t get there.”
Are you relieved that The CW might finally be putting the idea of a Supernatural spin-off series to bed? Are you disappointed? Let us know in the comments section below!
Images: The CW