Even though he’s been with the brothers Winchester since the first season of Supernatural, Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer) has been credited only as a guest star on the show. Now that Misha Collins (Castiel) is stepping away from his duties as a series regular, fans are left wondering if Beaver is looking to join Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki as a series regular.
Last month, it was reported that following the end of season 6, fan-favorite actor Misha Collins would be leaving Supernatural altogether. While the devastating rumor of no more Castiel was quickly put to rest, word soon came that the actor’s appearances would in fact be drastically cut in the upcoming season.
While there is no official word on why Collins’ role on the show was downgraded (speculation has suggested everything from a monetary dispute to a scheduling conflict), showrunner Sera Gamble says that whatever the conjecture de jour is, the actual reasoning is a purely creative one – done in the best interests of the series.
Speaking with TV Line, Gamble stated that while she and others working on Supernatural are aware of the online outcry over Castiel’s limited appearances, concerns for the upcoming season are more pressing.
"We have passionate fans. We have fans that have strong opinions about a lot of things that happen on the show. People ask me if I’m worried about a fan backlash. We just want to tell a good story and not be redundant and bring you interesting stories that are fresh. Going into Season 7, we have a new, interesting story that we want to tell to you. That's what's front of mind right now."
Following the Collins shake-up, speculation soon ran rampant that Jim Beaver, the actor who portrays the longstanding father figure and ally to the Winchesters, would be a shoe-in for the rank of series regular. However, according to the actor, he’s happy exactly where he is – and there are no plans to alter his current relationship with the show.
"…it seems that the existing situation is the best one we can agree on. I'm not unhappy, and the show is spectacularly respectful of me and my needs, and I think they'd give me anything I ever needed if they had it to give."
Gamble also weighed in on Beaver’s position by saying:
"We have a fantastic relationship with Jim. We bring him in, as the story demands it. He's basically a fixture on the show as necessary."
One thing Beaver’s status on Supernatural has given him is the ability to seek out other acting ventures as he sees fit. Recently, the actor has recently made appearances in such programs as Justified, Breaking Bad and the unfortunately cancelled Lie to Me. So while fans may lament his ‘friend’ status, Beaver seems completely content to add to his acting resume.
At six seasons and counting, Supernatural has performed as one of The CW’s flagship series – and in the wake of Smallville’s departure, the program will certainly be expected to maintain the viewership that stuck with Tom Welling and Co. for these last ten years. Responding to such responsibilities, the Supernatural crew is already hard at work on season 7 – which, according to Gamble, will have a distinct “outlaw” sensibility that may play into Castiel’s recent heavenly promotion.
Supernatural returns this fall, Fridays @9pm on The CW.