The tale of the Winchester brothers will continue for another year, as The CW announced today that they have officially renewed Supernatural for season 8 – but could this be Supernatural’s final bow?

Despite an unconventional seventh season, news of Supernatural’s renewal isn’t likely to shock fans of the series. With news of showrunner Sera Gamble being replaced with Syfy’s Being Human showrunner Jeremy Carver – who formerly served as a producer on Supernatural – it left little debate about its chances for renewal.

For fans, their concern lies largely in what the focus of the series will be, as it heads into its eighth year on the air. Supernatural’s season 7 nemesis, the Leviathans, appropriately became a “C” storyline rather than a direct focus, fans began to wonder what had happened to the series they faithfully watched for many years.

Instead of an overarching story that was driven by each episode, Supernatural’s seventh season quickly became disjointed with its storytelling. While nobody will argue against shifting focus away from the “evil” Leviathans and their intentions of taking over the world corporate-style, a litany of self-contained episodes that didn’t really go anywhere wasn’t really much of an upgrade.

Fortunately, Supernatural has never really been a series where continuous issues brought concerns about renewal. With mistakes largely occurring few and far between, fans of the series are typically more forgiving than fans of other shows.

Even if Supernatural can turn things around and make an amazing eighth season, could this be the series’ final run – no matter what?

When Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles resigned their contracts for the series last year, it was for two additional seasons (7 and 8). So after next season, both actors would have to renew their contracts.

While only Ackles and Padalecki can say for sure, it’s becoming more difficult to believe that they would want to continue the series into its ninth or tenth year. And after this season, there are certainly some fans who don’t feel like it even should. Of course that doesn’t mean that it won’t – I suppose it’s something we’ll just have to wait and see in the Supernatural season 7 finale.

Now we just have to figure out a way to get Castiel (Misha Collins) back… and Bobby (Jim Beaver) back from being dead.

Supernatural airs Fridays @9pm on The CW

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