Why did The CW pass on launching the Supernatural spinoff, Wayward Sisters? Soon to end on the hugely impressive milestone of 15 seasons, Supernatural has established itself as one of the most consistently popular shows of its kind, and it's easy to see why there would be strong interest in developing a spinoff. Supernatural's first spinoff attempt was Bloodlines, a series centered around the exploits of monster crime families in Chicago, but the premise and backdoor pilot failed to generate excitement among fans. The CW tried again in 2018, this time opting for a cast of familiar characters led by Kim Rhodes' Jody Mills.
Dubbed Wayward Sisters, this second spinoff would pick up on the hunting careers of Jody's growing collection of waifs and strays, a group of females from previous Supernatural seasons that had been exposed to the paranormal. A backdoor pilot episode was set for Supernatural season 13, in which the Sisters were forced to save the Winchester brothers from a parallel world. Compared to Bloodlines, the Wayward Sisters pilot was afforded a far more enthusiastic reception from fans, and reviews noted the potential value in a full series. Unfortunately, The CW didn't agree, and the network announced that Wayward Sisters had not been picked up for a full series.
While the Bloodlines cancellation was no mystery, the Wayward Sisters decision is far more surprising. The presence of established characters and a sense of goodwill from fans provided a solid foundation for the spinoff, and the female-fronted, single town approach would've differentiated Wayward Sisters from the main show. Viewership for the episode was also promising and, following the cancellation, an ultimately unsuccessful fan campaign was established to try and convince either The CW or Netflix to save Wayward Sisters.
Several reasons have been given for the Wayward Sisters decision. The CW's president, Mark Pedowitz, claimed that Wayward Sisters didn't live up to expectations creatively. Given the mostly positive reaction to the pilot episode, this is likely referring to ideas that had been planned for a potential full series, which fans are obviously not privy to.
More tellingly, however, Pedowitz claimed that his network felt more positively about green-lighting Legacies, a spinoff of The Vampire Diaries. This suggests that Wayward Sisters' failure was at least partly due to a simple lack of space on the network's schedule, with only one spinoff project ever likely to be commissioned. With The Originals, the potential value in a Vampire Diaries spinoff had already been proven, and the Wayward Sisters pilot was perhaps always facing an uphill battle to prove it was a more lucrative option than Legacies.
In a later interview, Pedowitz expanded further on his Wayward Sisters call and hinted at a further reason why a Supernatural spinoff still hadn't come to pass. Despite remaining open to future ideas, Pedowitz nevertheless raised the possibility that Supernatural simply may not work without Sam and Dean Winchester. The truth of this statement is a debate all of its own with strong arguments on both sides, but certainly, if The CW were expecting Wayward Sisters to conjure up the same chemistry and magic as the brothers have in the main series, it's no wonder the spinoff was never pursued.
Over the past year, of course, the Supernatural franchise has taken a deeply significant turn, with the announcement that season 15 would be the Winchesters' last ride. Since a gap has cleared on The CW's slate and Sam and Dean are moving on to pastures new, it's possible that the idea of a Supernatural spinoff will be resurrected. This could see a return to the Wayward Sisters concept or the development of an entirely new project and while no announcement has been forthcoming, Supernatural's end does give hope to fans dreaming of a spinoff, as there will no doubt be a strong demand for further adventures.
Supernatural season 15 premieres October 10th on The CW.