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Season Six for Supernatural?
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Jules Wilkinson
Raised by television in the wilds of suburbia, Jules is a keen watcher of all genres of the medium. A contributor to the Supernatural essay collection "In The Hunt", she is also an administrator of the Supernatural Wiki site.  
By Jules Wilkinson
Published on 01/10/2010
 
The future of the TV horror series Supernatural just got less scary for fans, after CW Network boss Dawn Ostroff sat down for lunch with Supernatural show runner Eric Kripke. The Ausiello Files reports that Ostroff is pleased with the show's creative direction, saying that Kripke has been "hitting it out of the park" this season ...

The future of the TV series Supernatural just got less scary for fans.
The future of the TV series Supernatural just got less scary for fans, after CW President of Entertainment Dawn Ostroff and Supernatural show runner Eric Kripke sat down for lunch. The Ausiello Files reports that Ostroff is pleased with the show’s creative direction, and says Kripke has been “hitting it out of the park” this season.

Supernatural has spent most of its five years as a show on the “bubble”.  Renewals of the show for both the second and third seasons were only announced by the network after the season finales had aired in May each year. The fall-out of the Writers’ Strike brought an early pick-up for the fourth season in March 2008, and that season’s large jump in ratings saw the show renewed for its fifth year in February 2009.

While a steady ratings performer for the CW, Supernatural was inherited from the WB and attracted a slightly older and more male audience than the network’s target demographic of women 18-34 years old. But that has shifted as Ostroff reports: “We have more young women coming to the show than ever before.”  Supernatural also started in syndication on TNT on January 4.

Conjecture about a sixth season began as soon as Season Five began shooting. Creator Eric Kripke had often mentioned in interviews that he had envisioned a five year arc, although at Comic Con last year he clarified that while he still wanted to complete the current story, there was “no reason why a new chapter can’t begin.”

Feeding into the mix are the fact that Kripke’s contract is only for five years, while co-stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki’s are for six. Kripke did sign a two year development deal with Warner Brothers in June 2008, although there have been no reports of new projects as yet.

While it is not unheard of for show runners to be replaced, Ostroff's positive report on her meeting with Kripke bodes well for fans that see his vision as integral to the Supernatural’s success. “He’s really excited about the show right now,” she said. “I think he feels this season has been really satisfying for him. He’s certainly not running out of ideas by any stretch of the imagination.”

Fans will no doubt debate whether a sixth season is a good thing. Kripke has mentioned on a number of occasions, his desire to for the show to finish while the story is still strong. He playfully titled a fourth season episode “Jump The Shark”, when it used the  “long lost brother” trope which has often signaled the death knell of other series.

There will also much speculation on where the story can go after the apocalyptic showdown Season Five is heading towards. Fans should remember that the show has been here before – the second season ended with the wrap-up of the main story line when the Yellow-Eyed demon was killed. Supernatural has always emphasized character development as much as the myth arc and this, along with the popular introduction of the angel Castiel in Season Four, provides it with a solid base for going forward. It was garnered critical acclaim from several top TV reviewers in 2009 for episodes such as the chilling post-apocalyptic episode “The End”, and the clever television parody of “Changing Channels.”

Ostroff made no mention of when renewal news could be expected. However, given her positive public comments, it may be possible that an announcement could coincide with the celebrations planned for when Supernatural films its 100th episode this month.

Supernatural returns to the CW on Thursdays from January 21.