Supernatural Season Four News From Eric Kripke


Eric Kripke recently answered fan questions about Supernatural at Among them, he revealed a few things about season 4. Due to the writer’s strike, Supernatural will have only sixteen episodes this season. There had been some speculation from the showrunners on the different ways season 4 might compensate for it. Sadly, Kripke revealed that The CW only ordered the usual 22 episodes for next season.

The studio has also cut the show’s budget — which may not necessarily be bad news. As a result, Kripke says, “We’ll be employing all kinds of tricks next year — the war will be smaller, more contained, underground, more guerrilla-style. I actually think it’ll improve the show. Looking back over Season 3, the spectacle and size is never as interesting as the episodes that focus on the brothers.”

Also, when it comes to scares, Supernatural often follows the principle that what you don’t see is scarier than what you do. Against the backdrop of demons, ghosts, and scary places, it’s the small moments between Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) — such as Dean teaching Sam how to fix the Impala at the end of “Fresh Blood” — that’s the engine of the show.

“There will still be the [demon] war,” Kripke adds, “but we’ll be presenting it in our scruffy, angsty, Supernatural way, and we’ll return to concentrating on the relationships and the characters.” TV Guide also delivered the scoop that with the reduced budget, the character of Bela, the mercenary without-a-heart-of-gold, will be gone next season. At Creation Entertainment’s Salute to Supernatural in Los Angeles at the end of March, Kripke talked about what he thought went wrong with the character. “She made the boys look stupid maybe once or twice too many, and she was never tied into the mythology.”

Kripke told TV Guide that the show is and always has been intended to be “the saga of the Winchester clan…an epic, emotional family story. Beyond that, story elements come and go, some are introduced, and others discarded.” He said the writers consider various factors in what characters and stories stay and which get cut: actor availability, their own judgment, and, he adds, “Yes, at times, the opinions of the fans.” He warns that this applies only for non-core characters and story arcs and that fan response “never alters the core story and central mythology.

In an interview with Firefox News, producer and writer Sera Gamble indicated that Ellen Harvelle (Samantha Ferris) would be returning for the season finale. However, it seems negotiations fell through, as the actress subsequently reported on her blog, so fans probably won’t see more of Ellen anytime soon. The show has a mixed track record with its supporting characters. At the Creation Convention, Eric Kripke also mentioned Jo Harvelle, Ellen’s daughter, whose character, like Bela, didn’t play out the way they’d hoped. Ava, Andy, Jake, and Lily, Sam’s fellow psychic-kids, were all killed in season two’s finale “All Hell Breaks Loose.” Ellen and Jo happily haven’t been killed off, they have simply faded from the show, and haven’t been mentioned. The quirky computer genius Ash died when the Roadhouse burned down. Agent Henriksen, a very popular character, fell victim to the demon Lilith at the end of “Jus in Belo.”

Ruby the demon for the moment seems to have some staying power — at Creation, Eric Kripke joked “if you don’t like Ruby, tough.” The reliable, caustic, and much beloved Bobby (Jim Beaver) also seems to be sticking around as far as we know.

So, Supernatural fans, are you glad that the budget cuts will lead to a return to a tighter focus on the brother interaction? It’s true the show is best when it’s about Sam and Dean. However, supporting characters add a new perspective on the Winchesters, and can be fun characters in their own right (I love Sam and Dean, but I confess, I have a weakness for the supporting characters). There are some it seems hard to imagine Supernatural without.

Who would you like to see return? Anyone you think should stay or the show should do more with, even while the main focus next season stays on the brothers?

Samantha Ferris had this to say in tribute to Ellen: “She is unlike any character I have played and I am proud of her. She was tough love, fiercely loving, and loyal to the death. I don’t think that more Ellen’s out there would be a bad thing. Someone that I could throw a beer back with. I loved the cast and crew, the producers and writers, and my connection to all of them…Thank you for digging her and understanding her as much as I did.”


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