Supernatural's longevity is something of an ongoing joke for journalists. To the show's loyal fanbase, it's been a blessing. The CW series began airing in 2005 on the network's precursor, The WB, pre-empting the dawning of the post-Twilight "dark fantasy" craze that continues to grip media aimed at the young adult demographic.
The show follows brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, who were trained by their father to hunt the supernatural. Following their mother's mysterious death and their father's disappearance, Sam and Dean head out on the road looking for answers -- and the odd monster to kill.
Even though comic book characters from DC and Archie have come to dominate its programming, the Winchester brothers' adventures have remained a flagship property for The CW. While its 14th season is still airing, the recent announcement of a 15th marked business as usual. Then, the moment fans had been dreading finally came: The additional announcement that the 15th season would also be the show's last, which of course means it'll be the most significant in Supernatural's run.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
Stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins broke the news on social media in a watery-eyed video on March 22. "We wanted you to hear from us that, though we're excited about next year, it will be the finale -- the big, grand finale of an institution," Ackles said. "We've cried some tears and we'll cry some more," Padalecki added. "We'll work all the emotion into next season."
Hey #SPNFamily here’s a little message from @JensenAckles @mishacollins and me. I’m so grateful for the family that’s been built because of the show. Excuse me while i go cry. pic.twitter.com/QDXDsAyIfK— Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) March 22, 2019
Executive producers and co-showrunners Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb, who have been part of the series' production since the show's first and fourth seasons, respectively, also released a statement thanking the cast, crew and network, as well as emphasizing their intent moving into Supernatural's final chapter. "It is now most important to us to give these characters that we love the send-off they deserve."
ALL THE MILESTONES
Sam and Dean have raised the dead, crossed dimensional thresholds and rubbed shoulders with the who's who of cosmic beings during their extraordinary lives. In our reality, Supernatural's life has been similarly impressive. After the show concludes with its 15th season, its total episode tally will reach 327, strengthening its title as the longest running sci-fi/fantasy series in the history of American broadcast television. It's also the longest running drama series The CW has ever produced.
This is a particularly incredible feat for a genre series, which have a much shorter shelf lives without the cookie-cutter, open-ended storytelling that episodic hospital, crime and comedy shows usually employ to prolong their stay. Supernatural is currently competing with Criminal Minds as the joint 14th longest-running scripted American primetime television series of all time.