Jensen Ackles jokingly says anything that doesn't make it into Supernatural season 15 - its final season - will be saved for the reboot. The CW has been tapping into established television IP quite a bit lately with shows like Charmed, Roswell and a handful of spinoffs in the works. Those shows will be lucky if they see a similar lifespan to that of Supernatural. Everyone’s favorite demon hunters, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Ackles) have been on the air since 2005 (back when The CW was The WB). It's the longest-running American live-action fantasy TV series of all time.
One of the reasons Supernatural has survived so long is because of its revolving door of creatives. The show’s original writer and creator, Eric Kripke, was with the series for five seasons. Kripke, having told the story he wanted to tell, left Supernatural upon conclusion of season 5. Longtime writer and producer of the show, Sera Gamble, stepped in as showrunner for seasons 6 and 7, Jeremy Carver took over in season 8, and now Andrew Dabb has been serving as co-showrunner with Robert Singer since season 12. Supernatural's community of collaborators have helped it reboot spiritually multiple times over the course of its tenure.
In an interview with Variety, Ackles discussed directing the season 12 episode “Atomic Monsters,” as well as an idea him and costar, Padalecki have for the show. “We have an idea for an episode to explore,” Ackles said “When the show explores its wacky side I think we get a lot of really, really good stuff. And he and I and Richard Speight have been kind of kicking an idea for an episode around for a year and a half, two years now… maybe we’ll save it for the reboot." Supernatural has served as a vehicle for Ackles to fine-tune his skills both in front of and behind the camera. Making his directorial debut in the season 6 episode entitled “Weekend at Bobby’s," Ackles has helmed four episodes since; the last episode he directed was in season 11. The show’s rich mythology and massive output of episodes (averaging 20 a season) allow for many different types of stories, both including and excluding Ackles, to be told.
While there has never necessarily been talk of a Supernatural reboot, the idea of a spinoff has been explored more than once. A handful of Supernatural-derived shows have been attempted using beloved characters: the web series GhostFacers, Supernatural: The Animation, Supernatural: Bloodlines, and Wayward Sisters. Bloodlines and Wayward Sisters both had backdoor pilots in the flagship series but were never picked up by The CW. The network cited Bloodlines and Wayward Sisters similarities to other CW shows as being the reason for their subsequent rejection. Upset by this, fans mounted an online campaign to save Wayward Sisters, which ultimately failed.
Ackles’ tongue in cheek mention of a reboot resurrects the idea of another show set in the Supernatural universe. The Kripke-created world has been built on a tapestry of intertwined biblical and mythological lore, spiced up with a little bit of classic rock music. Over its 15 seasons, Supernatural has gained an overwhelming fan base. If the amount of recurring actors, actresses, writers, and directors are any indication, it’s also a joy to work on. Whether Supernatural’s inventive momentum is utilized after the show airs its final episode remains to be seen. Regardless, with 327 episodes (upon conclusion) in the books, fans will have a lot of stories to revisit in Supernatural.