Supernatural Prequel Spinoff in Development at The CW, Jensen Ackles Returning

Supernatural may have come to an end just over a year ago after a fifteen season run but The CW is ready to get back into the adventures of The Winchesters. Deadline brings word of a new spinoff series in development at the network which is titled just that, The Winchesters, and focusing on the parents of Dean and Sam. Series star Jensen Ackles will return as Dean Winchester but appear off screen, narrating the series ala The Wonder Years. According to the trade the series has a script commitment from The CW and is being written/executive produced by former co-executive producer Robbie Thompson.

A description for the series reads: "Before Sam and Dean, there was John and Mary. Told from the perspective of narrator Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), The Winchesters is the epic, untold love story of how John met Mary and how they put it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world." Jensen will produce alongside his wife Danneel Ackles via their Chaos Machine Productions banner, having signed a deal with Warner Bros. Television last year.

"After Supernatural wrapped its 15th season, we knew it wasn't over. Because like we say in the show, 'nothing ever really ends, does it?'" Ackles said in a statement. "When Danneel and I formed Chaos Machine Productions, we knew the first story we wanted to tell was the story of John and Mary Winchester, or rather the Supernatural origin story. I always felt like my character, Dean, would have wanted to know more about his parents' relationship and how it came to be. So I love the thought of having him take us on this journey."

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Samantha Smith previously played the roles of John and Mary on the long-running TV series, but with the new show telling their origins it doesn't seem likely that they'll reprise their roles (at least not for the majority of the show).

The Winchesters marks the third attempt by The CW to spinoff a new show from Supernatural, the first two arriving while it was still airing. First was Supernatural: Bloodlines, a concept that was turned into a backdoor pilot in the show's ninth season and which would have told the story of mafia-like families of monsters in Chicago. Second was Wayward Sisters, a series that would have focused on Kim Rhodes as Sheriff Jody Mills, a character that had appeared across the series for ten years.

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That no spinoff of Supernatural has succeeded is especially surprising considering how much of The CW's programming branches off from other shows. Arrow beget shows like The Flash, Batwoman, Supergirl, and more, while The Vampire Diaries spawned both The Originals and Legacies.