Supernatural, Eric Kripke

The CW / Sergei Bachlakov, L. Cohen/

I don't know about you, but my DVR is lonely right about now. And I swear I heard it squeal a little this morning when I set it to record something new this week: the CW's Supernatural.

Yes, Jared and Jensen, aka the Winchester bros, will be back in action this Thursday at 9 p.m., launching four brand-spanking-new episodes. (Did I just say Jared and Jensen and spanking? Oh yes, I did.)

To celebrate, I sat down to chat with Supernatural boss Eric Kripke, who is always a good time.

Kripke is hoping Super fans will spread the word about the show now more than ever—'cause the time is juuust right for new eyeballs to give it a shot. He also gave some teases on what's ahead and even tackled (cue the dramatic music) BellaRubyGate, so keep reading at your own risk!

Supernatural, Jared Padelecki

The CW

First of all, I have to tell you, about a month ago we put up a poll asking E! Online users what was the best show in all of 2007. And Supernatural got about 29 percent of the total votes, coming in at number one.
Wow. In comparison, what was number two?

One Tree Hill with 28 percent. And then the next show down had, like, 7 percent. So, you have some slightly active fans.
Oh, yeah. The online community is a boisterous and rowdy one. God bless 'em.

You clearly have a devoted fan base. Are you hoping that will help you stick around another season or two?
We always feel like we're a bubble show. We always feel that the sword of Damocles is kind of dangling over our heads. And that's why we're so fervent about getting the word out with fans. The fate of the show lies in their hands more than anybody else's. You know, they have to continue to spread the word, they have to continue to let their friends know, because the main thing that determines whether we're back is just viewers. Pure and simple. 

Do you feel like you're in a good place for these four episodes, given that there isn't a whole lot airing on television right now?
Well, we kind of have a Murphy's Law time slot: just as we are breathing a sigh of relief, like, Oh, finally, we get to air, out of the way of new episodes of Grey's and CSI and, like, thank God, we turn on the TV, and they say, "Lost premieres Jan. 31," and we're like, "Great!" It's the most lucrative time slot of the week, I get it. But I think it's up to the fans, and they have to get the word out. And I'm kicking and stamping and screaming as loud as I can to get as much promo time as possible.

What happens when Supernatural returns on Thursday?
We've packed a lot of story into these four episodes. What's sort of been a little challenging about the writers' strike is that we were just starting to catch our momentum and really starting to accelerate the storylines and starting to build to some of our bigger points—usually, for us, the second half of the season is a lot more hectic than the first half. The first half is kind of building, and the second half is when all the crap starts happening. We're just gearing up for that, and you'll start to catch that flavor in these four episodes.

Were you able to shift gears at all when the strike became imminent?
The only thing we could do was just switch the episode order a little bit, in a way that will end on an action-packed mythology note. Everyone got caught with their pants down.

What's Thursday's episode about?
This Thursday, we return with a classic witch and coven and hexes sort of thing. In that hour, we'll learn something big about Katie Cassidy's character, Ruby. Her backstory and the reason she's fighting on the side of good are revealed. There's also a big mythology reveal about the demons on our show, which extends to every episode we've done to this point, so we're really excited about that.

Speaking of Bella and Ruby...
Oh, no.

Highly controversial! [Laughs.]

Yeah, forget Obama and Clinton, right?
Yes, it's just like Barack and Hillary.

Lauren Cohen, Katie Cassidy, Supernatural

Marcel Williams/The CW, Sergei Bachlakov /The CW

Were you surprised there was such a strong reaction to those two new characters? And are you satisfied with how those storylines have been going?
No, I'm not surprised the fans are responding this way, because they tend to be very passionate about the show, and God love them for it. And they tend to have very strong opinions, specifically on the females we bring on to the show. And last year, we had this whole issue with the character Jo, so I knew this year we'd be up against that. But I'd say the difference between last year and this year is that I like these characters. Alona Tal (Jo) is a terrific actress, and I thought she did valiantly and beautifully with the part we gave her. But even before the original episode aired, frankly, I was watching them and was like, "I don't know if we conceived this character the right way." So, I wasn't surprised by the reaction, and that's why we pulled back on the character of Jo.

But you like Bella and Ruby.
Yes. I see the potential in the characters. I think they're strong, and they're entertaining, and they are fun to write for. You know, every character is a process and an evolution, and we sort of learn what works and what doesn't work. I mean, for the record, it took us a while to really figure out Sam and Dean and get into their heads in season one. There's going to be a certain amount of growing pains. We had a Bella episode this season called "Red Sky of Morning," which I was not pleased with how it turned out. I felt we probably put too much of Bella out too soon. I think the trick is to kind of thread them in a little slower.

Well, listen, if you ever need a new love interest for Sam or Dean...
You're volunteering?

For the sake of the fans! I'm a team player.
Aren't you a saint.

Okay, one last idea while I have you. Since Lost is back in the same slot, how about a crossover where one of the boys ends up on Lost island?
I like it!

Maybe Lost island is purgatory and that's where Dean ends up?
Could be, when he dies, he goes to Lost.

Wait! Is Dean really dying?
He's going to hell. Over and over again. You'll have to tune in to see.

And you fans will have to check out the next few Spoiler Chats, 'cause I'll have much more Supernatural info there for you spoilerhounds—including the word on Dean's hellish adventure! In the meantime, set your TiVo for Supernatural for this Thursday on the CW. And oh yeah, tell a friend, will ya?

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