Supernatural was an American paranormal/horror show that ran from 2005 to 2020. It is based around a Monster of the Week structure topped off with an over-reaching arc, while simultaneously retaining humor through various means of Leaning on the Fourth Wall. It follows Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki), two brothers who hunt creatures based on Urban Legends, Classical Mythology, and Abrahamic theology, including Heaven Versus Hell.
The first season featured the brothers searching for their missing father, but, for the most part, the series features them Walking the Earth as they travel from town to town in search of supernatural problems to solve. Though the Big Bads get bigger each season, it's more common that Dean and Sam already have their hands full with each other. It uses a diverse score of classic rock songs that feature heavily throughout, to encapsulate the gritty rock-and-roll life they lead, and features Dean's 1967 Chevy Impala as almost another character.
Famous for five main things:
- The Cast Full of Pretty Boys.
- The sheer amount of Mood Whiplash.
- How it raised torturing its two leads (emotionally and physically) to a fetishistic art-form. Not that it doesn't torture other characters on a regular basis.
- The fact that it ran for as long as it did.
- The fact that the usual four-door discount where vintage American sedans are substantially more affordable than their hardtop-coupe counterparts no longer applies to 1967 full-size Chevys.
The show is a real Long Runner for its kind, running for fifteen years and airing 327 episodes. Its first season aired on The WB during its last year on-air, but all following seasons aired on its successor, The CW, making it by far the network's longest scripted show.note It was part of The CW's original scripted lineup, all of which it outlasted, and it was still airing come The New '20s, by which point there was no other scripted show from the Turn of the Millennium on the network anymore. The show consistently drew in high ratings for the network, no doubt playing a part in its longevity. It also employs a large cast, though strangely Long-Runner Cast Turnover is not practiced; other than Sam and Dean, who are regulars for the show's entire run, the only other consistent regular is Castiel (Misha Collins), who is a cast member in nine out of fifteen seasons. The other five regulars are seasonal; Ruby (Katie Cassidy, S3), Bela Talbot (Lauren Cohan, S3), Crowley (Mark Sheppard, S10-12), Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino, S12-13), and Jack (Alexander Calvert, S13-15). The Walking the Earth nature of the series might be a factor, as it's a hassle to keep track of many characters when the leads are constantly moving.
It was created by Eric Kripke, who also served as a showrunner for the first five seasons, alongside Robert Singer. Kripke envisioned a five-season plan from the beginning, and the fifth season finale was supposed to be the series finale. He departed from the show when The CW opted to renew it for more seasons, his position being replaced by a rotating series of showrunners, while Singer remained to the end.
On March 22, 2019, it was announced that the fifteenth season of Supernatural would be its last. The show aired its Grand Finale on November 19, 2020, after the COVID-19 Pandemic delayed the airing of the final seven episodes from spring to fall.
- Supernatural: An anime adaptation created by Madhouse, the animation for which can be seen in this trailer. It ran for 22 episodes, adapting only the first two seasons of the series. The American release of the anime came out on July 26, 2011, with Jared Padalecki returning to voice Sam, while Jensen Ackles was available only for the last two episodes because of scheduling issues (Andrew Farrar stood in for him in the others).
- Supernatural: Origins (2007): A prequel to the series released by DC Comics.
- Supernatural: Rising Son (2008)
- Supernatural: Beginning's End (2010)
- Supernatural: Caledonia (2011-2012)
- Supernatural: Nevermore (2007)
- Supernatural: Die Dämonenjäger (2007) : Exclusive to Germany
- Supernatural: Witch's Canyon (2007)
- Supernatural: Bone Key (2008)
- Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon (2010)
- Supernatural: Unholy Cause (2010)
- Supernatural: War Of The Sons (2010)
- Supernatural: One Year Gone (2011)
- Supernatural: Coyote's Kiss (2011)
- Supernatural: Night Terror (2011)
- Supernatural: Rite of Passage (2012)
- Supernatural: Fresh Meat (2013)
- Supernatural: Carved in Flesh (2013)
- Supernatural: Cold Fire (2016)
- Supernatural: Mythmaker (2016)
- Supernatural: The Usual Sacrifices (2017)
- Supernatural: Joyride (2018)
- Supernatural: Children of Anubis (2019)
- Supernatural: Bloodlines, a proposed spin-off intended to explore both hunter and monster families in the show's universe, aired an extremely Poorly-Disguised Pilot, "Bloodlines". It was not picked up by the CW for full production.
- Another potential spin-off Supernatural: Wayward Sisters focusing on recurring women from the franchise aired a Poorly-Disguised Pilot in the 13th season called "Wayward Sisters". It too was not picked up.
- In June 2021, it was announced that The CW is developing a prequel spinoff, titled The Winchesters, which will focus on Dean and Sam's parents, John and Mary Winchester. Jensen Ackles and his wife, Danneel, will executive produce the series, with the former returning as narrator. The project was given a pilot order in February 2022, and was picked up to series in May 2022.
- Supernatural Role Playing Game (2009): A Tabletop Role-Playing Game produced by by Margaret Weis Productions using the Cortex System.
- Supernatural: Join The Hunt (2023): Expansion for Zombicide.
- Ghostfacers: Centered around a pair of minor recurring characters, was launched during Season Five in conjunction with the show's 100th episode.
There is an in-progress recap page here. Tropes for individual episodes are listed there.