Supernatural is officially ending, but why? The CW announced that Supernatural had been canceled, with the upcoming season 15 being its last one.
The CW’s Supernatural TV show is ending after season 15, but why? Supernatural follows monster-hunting brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, and it’s been going strong since it premiered in 2005. That’s why cancellation came as something of a shock. Although the series has managed to rack up more seasons than most genre shows can dream of, it’s still attracting the kind of numbers that would keep a series on the air for seasons to come. So why is the CW bidding farewell to Supernatural?
The short answer is, of course, that Supernatural is running out of stories to tell. The basic premise – two brothers and their father hunting the yellow-eyed demon that killed their mother – was wrapped up at the end of season 2. Since then, Supernatural has gone on to explore Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, God, the Devil, and even other dimensions. They’ve borrowed monster lore from the pantheons of multiple gods and cultures, as well as legends, ghost stories, and everything in between. The Winchesters themselves have died and been resurrected dozens of times, and their family and friends have had their own collections of deaths and returns as well.
It’s also worth noting that while Supernatural itself has continued to pull in viewers, attempts at taking this universe in a different direction with spinoffs have failed. In Supernatural season 9, “Bloodlines” was set to serve as the backdoor pilot for a new show, set in the monster culture of Chicago. Later, season 13 episode “Wayward Sisters” was a second backdoor pilot for a spinoff, this time chronicling the adventures of Jody Mills and her monster-orphaned girls. While both concepts had merit, neither Supernatural spinoff was picked up, suggesting that this isn’t something the CW is willing (or able) to turn into a franchise, thus making it harder to keep it alive for the longer term.
Beyond the lack of solid storylines, there’s another reason that it’s likely the CW has pulled the plug on one of their most popular shows: the stars are ready to call it quits. The CW President Mark Pedowitz has made it abundantly clear in the past that Supernatural would continue for as long as the stars wanted to do it. “There’s an open pass [to continuing it indefinitely] if the boys keep wanting to do it,” Pedowitz said. Ratings have been holding up, which means it’s Ackles and Padalecki’s decision to wrap things up.
While this might be heartbreaking for the fans (and the actors), it also makes sense. Both Ackles and Padalecki have devoted their careers to playing the Winchesters, and as phenomenal as their success has been, no actor wants to spend their entire life in a single role. Both had notable successes before Supernatural began (Gilmore Girls, Smallville, Dawson’s Creek), but haven’t had a huge amount of free time since then to take on bigger projects. Plus, both actors are married with children, and it’s likely their families want to spend more time with them – and be able to live where they want, not where the CW dictates they’ll be spending most of their time. This is in great part why Supernatural season 14 had fewer episodes.
While it’s possible that there’s some other secret reason for Supernatural to end, it’s unlikely. Series have ended in the past when a star becomes seriously ill, but Supernatural’s stars have always been candid about their personal lives, with Padalecki even creating a charity campaign about depression and mental health after coming out to the fandom about his own struggles. The cast have also always been close, and publicly so – the chances of some kind of on-set feud or drama, or dark secrets that producers want to hide killing the series is even less likely. Instead, it seems that Supernatural has simply run its course. With a full season left, fans can look forward to a fitting (and satisfying) end to Supernatural.