LOS ANGELES (KGET) — It’s been a long and demonic road for the demon-fighting Winchester brothers – Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles). But, that’s about the stop as the last episodes of the long-running “Supernatural” will begin to air starting at 8 p.m. Oct. 8 on the CW Network.
The seven episodes in the second half of the 15th season will bring the series total to 327. That episode total puts the series in a very rare position in TV history. Only 11 other scripted TV shows have stayed on the air for 15 or more seasons including “NCIS,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “ER” and “The Simpsons.”
There was at least one person who didn’t think “Supernatural” would stay on the air after one episode. Padalecki knew that making that first episode was so much fun that there was no way it could continue.
He had good reason to be worried. While “Supernatural” was on the air it saw its original home – the WB Network – go away and move to the new CW Network. The show never had high ratings but it has had a very loyal fan base from the start. And, the cast was told from the start by series creator Eric Kripke that he had a five-year plan for the show.
At the end of the five years, Kripke left but the production continued to gain a very loyal fan base that resulted in year after year of renewals that helped make “Supernatural” one of the most successful shows in TV history.
Padalecki continues to be shocked by how supportive the fans have been.
“I’m trying to figure out if it’s a willful or just a blissful ignorance about the outside impressions it’s made on people, on charitable donations, or whatever,” Padalecki says. “We kind of keep our feet moving and do the job. And for many, many years for 14, going on 15 I was lucky enough to just commit to Sam. And I trust implicitly my writers, our producers, our directors, and I was able to kind of put one foot in front of the other.
“I think it’s not going to be until I look in the rearview mirror at ‘Supernatural’ as a whole that I’ll really be able to speak on it. In the meantime, it’s humbling. I’m a pretty lucky dude. So I feel like when it’s in the past, I’ll hope to try and grasp 15 years of my life.”
Ackles is happy “Supernatural” lived long past the original plan because it kept the cast and crew gainfully employed for 15 years. It also allowed them to tell a very full story.
“It’s a story that we’re all very excited about, very passionate about. And I love these characters. I wouldn’t be sitting here if I didn’t,” Ackles says. “It’s something that means a lot to me, and it hasn’t grown old. That’s not why we’re entering into the final season. But I certainly don’t want it to grow old, which might be why, I think, we’re all wanting it to go before it does get to that point.
“This is a very special thing to me, and I want it to end in a way that does justice to what we’ve built for the past 14 and a half years. And I think that right now the plan that we have, the game plan that we have is going to do just that.”
Now that the end is here, the team behind “Supernatural” is facing the biggest fear of the series. They know that no matter how the show ends, it is not going to make all of the fans happy. Everyone connected to “Supernatural” stresses that they have done everything they can to make the loyal fans happy.
As the final episodes begin to air, it is interesting to keep in mind that a running joke on the set of “Supernatural” is that nothing ever stays dead. That means the stories could continue through a spinoff series or even movies.
None of that is on the horizon. So, for now, it looks like season 15 will be the end of the long television road for “Supernatural.”