Supernatural has been on the air since 2005. At the time the series was greenlighted, the network the show aired on was still known as the WB, if that gives you a better indicator of how long the show has actually been churning out episodes. While Supernatural no longer brings in the numbers it used to, the CW President Mark Pedowitz recently gave fans a lot of hope regarding the future of the drama. At the TCA Winter Press Tour, Pedowitz said that Supernatural is likely to be on the air for years to come:
If they can keep delivering stories, and the numbers keep holding, and the guys want to do it, we’re going to try to keep going. I can’t tell you if there will be a Season 12 yet. I can’t tell you if there will be a Season 15 yet. I can’t tell you if it won’t outlast my tenure at the CW. My guess is it will outlast me.
Mark Pedowitz’s answer is a little cheeky considering he’s been at the CW since 2011 and his predecessor lasted for nearly the same time, from 2006-2011. However, Pedowitz has notoriously changed the network’s outlook, bringing in not only a slew of popular DC comics-oriented shows, but also a critically acclaimed lineup of shows including Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Plus, he’s kept Supernatural on the map the entire time that he’s been around. The man knows what he is doing, and while Supernatural isn’t confirmed for Season 12, the comments he made at the press tour are a really, really good sign.
Of course, noting that Supernatural is probably not getting cancelled soon is not the same thing as an actual renewal order. Mark Pedowitz followed up his extremely hopeful comments with a clarification, as reported by Collider.
So, again, we have made no series pickups yet. We have not done anything along those lines, but I’m pretty hopeful that we’ll see it again.
While Supernatural used to draw 3-5 million total viewers during its heyday, the show now tends to hover just under the two million mark. That may not sound great, but it’s actually fairly hopeful. While a lot of shows have seen their Live+ Same day numbers drastically fall as people have switched to DVR and other platforms like Netflix and Hulu, Supernatural has a faithful chunk of audience members who still want to watch Sam and Dean live each week. This translates to a solid .7 rating or so each week. Reruns on the CW also tend to do steady .3 ratings or so on the channel.
Again, if CBS was seeing .3’s and .7’s, that channel would cancel a series immediately, but the CW doesn’t need as many viewers to stay afloat. The Vampire Diaries is also seeing ratings in roughly the same ballpark and is still sticking around on the network. The bigger problem to keeping Supernatural on the air is whether both Jared Padelecki and Jenson Ackles are willing to stick with the series in the time to come. After all, they’ve been producing the same show for over a decade now and may want to hop to a new project at some point.
The CW won’t make any final decisions about renewals until the spring, but you can catch new episodes of Supernatural well before then. The show returns to the schedule on Wednesday, January 20 at 9 p.m. ET, following a new episode of Arrow. You can find out when the rest of your favorites will be returning with our midseason TV premiere schedule.