‘Supernatural’ Producer Talks Season 7 Struggles; Season 8 Strategies

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 8th, 2012 at 9:50 am,

Check Out: ‘Supernatural’ Showrunner Reveals Season 10 Goal

While fans of Supernatural are appropriately looking forward to the upcoming adventures of the Winchester brothers in season 8, that doesn’t mean there isn’t time to reflect on the past. Fortunately, this reflection goes beyond fanatical squabbles when it’s Supernatural consulting producer Ben Edlund doing the talking.

Speaking with Edlund at Comic-Con 2012, the famed Tick creator – who could also be described as the enthusiastic heart of Supernatural - took time to explain to us the complications that series face as they reach a certain age.

Touching upon some of the problems that Supernatural faced in season 7, Edlund paints a clear picture about the challenges that producers of long-running series must deal with, and how to overcome it:

I think that shows that go this long – and we’re also struggling with it, too – that’s a lot of water under the bridge. Very few 10-year, or 9-year, or 8-year shows keep themselves from suffering from… They get dementia.

It would be like an older relation who starts to get demented by season 8 or 9, like, “I forget, are you my husband or my nephew?” And you’re, like, “Look, you were a different show before!”

We’re all struggling with that.

Admittedly, Supernatural has, on all accounts, an overall exceptional track record when compared to other series. Even so, it’s always wonderful to hear producers publicly acknowledge that these challenges do exists, that they are aware of them, and that they have given it the appropriate consideration when making future plans for the series.

supernatural season 8 dick roman Supernatural Producer Talks Season 7 Struggles; Season 8 Strategies

What plans does Supernatural have for a spectacular season 8 revival? It’s best to let Ben Edlund speak for himself:

We’ve got a mythological underpinning that we can actually [use]… And a point about what the plight of the boys is. They are representative of a certain interpretation of the plight of humanity, and that has a certain kind of legs. As long as we open dimensions of that in the right way, we can get, I think, more meaningful time out of the story.

This season, we’re really looking at a closer point of view of human relationships again. Because they’ve gone through such operatic, massive sweeps of character and events, it’s, like, trying to get them really close to people a little bit, so that they can now remember what they’re trying to save, in a sense.

So that’s part of it… That’s just general strategies.

And dinosaurs.

For fans of Supernatural, Ben Edlund’s love for dinosaurs is common knowledge. Always trying to find a way (and budget) to include them in the series, we’ll have to wait until this fall to see if he has finally succeeded. Taking a look at his completely honest, incredibly succinct strategies for Supernatural’s future, it’s clear why (and how) the series’ track record has remained so flawless – and why we should be excited about season 8!

When a series reaches a certain age, there’s no doubt that missteps will occur. Even the often-touted “best television series ever” moniker includes a few lesser moments in legacy, though often these are overlooked or forgotten. That being said, there are many higher-rated, higher-budgeted series that have not been able to succeed as long as Supernatural has.

Perhaps it’s from a lack of this type of thinking, acknowledgement and planning?

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Supernatural season 8 premieres Wednesday, October 3 @9pm on CW

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  1. Love’ love, love this show but it really needs to wrap up…last seaosn imo was not that bad, I thought that season 6 was the disaster, even so season 7 was nowhere near the caliber of season’s 3-5.

    I think they need to begin to build up there exit strategy. I mean we really saw the climax in season 5 so these past few seasons were just hiccups and smaller battles for the brothers. End the show this season and end it well

    • No, I believe the show has multiple years left in it–especially with Carver replacing Gamble.

    • Hey, give it a chance the show hasn’t been horrible since season 6, the word is actually “different”, the show stills good, but in another way. Besides Carver will be the new showrunner, and he has wrote great scripts, like “A very Supernatural Christmas”, “Changing Channels” etc. Give it a chance!

      • I agree. The tone has changed, and I loved the introduction of new characters even while hating the exits of others. I would like to see more interaction of Sam and Dean as brothers, and I heard they will bring that back right away, rather than showing them separately, Sam on Earth, Dean in Purgatory, and then do flashbacks. Jared had said at a convention recently he was looking forward to the separation of the brothers. I hope he isn’t disappointed in the way its being shown.

        How did a show like Gunsmoke last 20 years? Did they recycle stories and the fans just didn’t notice?

  2. no dinosaurs please!

    • couldn’t be worse than the Leviathan ;)

      • good point

  3. I don’t know if this show should go on after this season…for me it’s just underwhelming now, example,they make this big deal over the mother of all monsters then she just removed from the story like some minor league monster,killed in some crappy diner with some lame little stab

    Flash forward to the end of this seasons story and Dick Roman(the big bad Super threat) get discarded in the same anti climatic fashion.

    what it comes of as and is a fact,is that these guys(people behind the show) have bit of more that they can chew,they picked big league stories and used a minor league budget

    the results is there is this big drama at along the way either in the episode or all season long,then whenever the moment of action arrives or climax it feels like they just skipped to the conclusion because their funds were so low that what little they actually are able to orchestrate on film with the resources they do have, ends up feeling like that.

    If they continue on this route I cannot say I’d be too interested in watching further… and I am one of those types that likes to watch their shows continue on and on,but the weak end games…realizations of climatic showdowns are just too badly handled…they just were trying to do too much for what they have to work with.

    • I seriously don’t want to defend season 7, but come on. The brothers went through a ton just to create the only weapon that could harm Dick. Then they had an elaborate plan to break in and discover which Leviathan was actually Dick. Then Dean, Cas, and Dick are sent to purgatory for using the weapon. So really…what part about that whole story is anti-climatic?

  4. Just think, It’s a good show but with Sera Gamble killing Cass and Bobby off in the first 10 episodes, I didn’t want to watch it. But now they have Cass back and Bobby also might be coming back the show will pick up again! I know it! :)

  5. Professor Procrastination

    Well it’s like an hour of an episode right(less actually due to commercials of course) so they spend the whole episode in the so called getting to dick mission,then they meet up with dick for like a whole minute maybe more and thats it

    the big bad guy they made this big deal over all season long just bends over for them and dies….might have been more entertaining if they squirted him with a water gun and he started yelling “I’m melting!!! Melting!”

    This was a problem with season 6 as well…I don’t know when this started happening but it just seems to be because they don’t have the resources to handle the large scale events/characters they want

    then they can’t seem to write there way around their resource deficiencies either…there you mentioned it above,they did stuff to get the weapon which is when the show seems ok when they are trying to do simple stuff like a little dialogue here or there but whenever it calls for anything more it all ends up feeling rushed or like a summery of events.

    I wonder if i’ve explained myself well enough…only thing else I have to say is I’d don’t watch much us TV anymore,or other none us tv much, so for me to watch this show means i like it but it seems like the further on this show goes it’s getting unbalanced

  6. Zeta, we have a new showrunner, give it a chance.

  7. I agree it is nice that the produces acknowledge some of the problems that Supernatural has faced. But, despite last seasons downfalls, this show has created characters that we’ve come to love, and are a large part of the reason I continue to tune in. My late work schedule at Dish is interferes with the time this show premieres. So, I’m going to record this season with the help of my Hopper. The 2,000 hours of storage space is going to come in handy with all of my favorite shows returning. I also love that I can fast-forward through commercials on my recordings, getting me back to the action quicker. I am excited with the direction this season is taking, after all the characters have been through, I am intrigued to see how it affects their relationships.